20×20 Acrylic on Canvas – First in Pandemerica Series
There are strong political undertones. Starting with the figure, choosing to use a strong black female as a representation of America. Undoubtedly a political statement on healthcare, as black and brown populations are the most marginalized by the COVID-19 pandemic in America. Deemed essential or rather expendable. The figure is silenced in the work, but given a voice by representation. There are strong contrasts from her body language to her form. She’s empowered but silenced. Projecting both strength with her eyes, and body language. Yet she is naked and vulnerable. She is America, she is humanity, and she is voiceless.
Aside from the subtle political tones, there’s the symbolic plant, a representation of the facemask. A polarizing piece in America. The “not in America” statement. As if the virus would not in America. Amidst a PPE crisis where people are finding unusual objects or creating their own, I started thinking of objects outside of the mask, the mask, the symbol. I’ve used the leaf of a Montesera, a popular houseplant during a time of government-mandated stay at home orders. The background intentionally uses cement grays for an industrial organic contrast.
As the virus expands globally, mandating international shutdowns we see the earth, plants, and nature flourishes. This is the most apparent statement of the work. The contrast between people and nature. Is the virus mother nature’s way of finding life, of fighting back?
Work from 2020 will be studied, iconic, it will have a name. The masks, the political satire and iconography will be a pivotal moment in art history. When artists were quarantined. That’s when I started her, and it flowed from me better than anything I have created in years. She seemed to want to exist in time, to be a part of the history of Pandemic art, COVID-19, the quarantine depression of 2020. I am excited to share her with the now and future world.