I just finished a new painting. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome of it.
She wears a scarf around her neck. In previous paintings, I’ve created my character with a scarf, and it is usually symbolic of a feeling of being bound or tied up somehow. The scarf has the words, a bit faded, that read, “Black Lives Matter“. They are faded because people forget yesterday’s news. They are small and she is big because the problem itself is so large and so intense. She wears a gold star on top of her head. My daughter asked me why, and I told her that it is because she is a queen. She is the queen that declares the injustices of the world, even though the world has faded her ideals, and even though people view the problem as being so small. It isn’t.
“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” – Nina Simone
One year and a few days ago, an innocent person was killed in the town of Ferguson. Although I am not the activist I once was, marching down the streets of Manhattan and DC, I do feel passionate about the system and the lack of justice in the world today.
I have seen first hand the horrible things that happen when the wrong people are given a place of power. I do not claim to have the answers. I do not claim to know what will or should happen in the world.
“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.” – John Lennon
So friends, let us demand peace in our way. My way, my activism comes through my art. I was telling this to my tattooed man last night. My activism, and that which I fight for, is what comes in my art.
When you paint, when you perform spoken word poetry, you have this sort of power in your hands. You have the power to create tiny revolutions wherever you go. I tell others to create, so that they are creating peace. They are buying less from big box stores and instead make it themselves or buy handmade. Buying handmade creates a tiny revolution in which you empower another to be self employed and self sufficient. You put money in the hands of a single mother, a stay at home mother, and a woman who simply wants to create her art for a living. This is what you create when you buy handmade. We can create revolutions simply by expressing our creativity and expressing who we are in our art. In this way, we create tiny orbs of peace.
Black lives matter. Latino lives matter. We matter. And I for one, demand peace. And my offering of peace, is my art.
(By the way, this painting is for sale in my shop, HERE)