Coin: Acrylic on (deconstructed) Canvas, 70"x 56" 2020
After returning from Greece in 2017 and completing work on the "Democracy Mosaic" (study), having pencils laid out on a table, and the still wanting to investigate my curiosity with the truth/lie dialectic. I created two vertical canvases side by side. One canvas was filled with the word "truth", and the other was filled with "lies". Remembering a conversation with a pub owner in Greece about the necessity of both forms of communication to have equal weight, I wanted to have something in the studio that kept me aware of that balance.
During the production years from 2017 through 2021 they remained in the studio. In between the Nov. 6 election results and the inauguration of Mr. Biden it seemed like the dialectic of a balance between truth and lie had been thrown into a blender and the minced button was pushed. There was fanatic energy coming from Trump, his conservative followers turning the fact that Mr. Biden had won the election by over 7 million votes was a lie. As the days got closer to the inauguration date, the conservative claim that the election result, as fact, was a lie grew in number and intensity.
Making calculations for completing base for the "Monument of Lies" one afternoon, I began to stair at the two canvasses trying to reconcile the either/or construct of communication feeling that it no longer was a reality. It was beginning to feel like our culture was living in an undefined space were fact can be fiction, and fiction can be fact at the same time. I saw it as a heads/tales coin toss were no matter what the outcome to the toss, it would be heads and tales at the same time. Based on that thinking, I deconstructed the two canvases and reconstructed them in a way that gave equal weight to both. Black was white and white was black. The title "Coin" suggested that heads was both heads and tails while tales was both tails and heads. In my opinion the work functioned as a the failure of our nation's societal leadership to distinguish truth as common ground.