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Portrait, Acrylic on canvas 46" x 32", 1922
This work came by accident. When the election of 2020 was over. I felt that the "Canary: Democracy Project" was completed and I was beginning to journal ideas about words and their function. But, when the event of January 6 happened and there was so much portrayal of illusion by the conservative community trying to tell me that what I saw at the capitol building on that day, didn't happen in the way all factual media reported it.
Then when the House of Representatives voted to open an investigation into the events of that day, I, like so many other citizens, wanted to know the story of that day. The very first day of the open hearings was taken up with the testimony of various law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol on January 6th. Their testimony was heart wrenching. The account officer Fannon gave of how he was pulled into the crowd, and threatened to be killed with his own gun echoed for days in my memory and that account provided the energy to tell his story.
The work is an American flag but what constitutes the separate elements of the flags components are parts of the whole story that happened on the grounds of the Capitol Building on Jan. 6. The red stripes of the flag have USA painted in grid form across each stripe. Hidden under the red USA's is the repeated phrase "GET HIS GUN". The white stripes also have USA repeated across each while hidden and repeated under them in alternating stripes (Pledge - as in "I pledge allegiance") and (People- as in "We the people"). The blue behind the stars also has the same USA grid but behind is the phrase officer Fannon reviled in his testimony, "kill him with his own gun". For me as an artist and story teller of my time and people the goal of this work was to grapple with the idea that all of this is where we, as Americans, are right now. We are all here as witnesses to our time and place. This is our portrait.
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