Tuesday, 4 May 2010

New Series

American Portrait, Self ID

Pastel on UART paper

American Portraits/New Racial ID Series I'm working on.

I'm starting a new series of paintings that are about being mixed racially and ethnically in the south. The self portrait is my first venture. I want to paint in pastel super realistic portraits of me, my sister, my parents and others holding photo's of themselves or other family members.

What hit me off to do this is a long simmering anger. Although I was lucky enough to grow up in a generation that didn't care and was open minded enough to think it is okay to have a diverse background, my parents were not.

Another thing that sparked me off was a couple of months ago a so called "preacher" came into my gallery angry that our outside sign said "Holiday Sale" instead of what he said should say "Christmas Sale". He spouted off about Jews never spend money at Christmas time, that President Obama was trying to turn All American's into Muslims and a lot of other shit that really pissed me off. (This isn't the first time I've had this happen.)

It dawned on me that this guy assumed that I would agree with him because I look white and that I must be a Christian like him...all assumptions are wrong. I don't agree with him, I'm only part white and I am not a Christian. I'm American.

So I started thinking about identity and assumptions...and generations of people who fear change and differences. I don't know where this will lead...hopefully to a better place.