I felt compelled to post this painting I made in December 2019 for the Patricia Rovzar Gallery in Seattle because it very much directly relates to what is going on in the US right now.
In the painting, you’ll notice the wooden fence with collaged information I gathered from a newspaper from the 1980’s. It heralds the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. I came across this old newspaper at a garage sale and immediately went to work in my studio laying down the printed images and words on my canvas. I found it odd that the newspaper tells the story of heroism and bravery but omits any reference to Black Americans and what they fought for and suffered through, before, during and after the Civil War. In the painting, you can see bits of this history from the actual newspaper in each and every wooden post that my heroine stands in front of.
The reason I titled it “Where’d You Hear That?” is because I imagined a Black America asking a White America where they heard something that was inaccurate or misinformed about the Black experience. Sometimes we (and I am talking about myself here, as a White male) are unaware of how socialization has filled us all with racist ideas and we are often ill equipped to answer that question.
She is looking at you, with a bit of sadness, because she can tell you don’t understand American history, what her family lives with everyday, and the history of her ancestors.
If you have a comment you’d like to share about this work, please email me. I would love to hear from you.
Take care everyone,