This piece was born of anger and heartbreak over the fear and injustices so prevalent in the United States. The election did start the racism, Islamaphobia, xenophobia, homophobia, rape culture or misogyny – it merely took it out of the shadows. As more and more people died in the streets, were told they did not have sovereignty over their own bodies or lives, the rallying crying in response to the hurting was the Uber-invalidating
“All Lives Matter”.
So I began documenting all of the ways we show people that they don’t matter: that their lives and safety don’t matter, that who they are – the very things that make them magnificent – are to be feared and punished. And if they are really lucky, they can be punished, detained, deported and possibly, die to be society’s poster child.
“Just conform and pull yourself up by the bootstraps right out of the womb and everything will be OK”.
Puritanicanal, much? By the time the concept sketch was done, I had filled over 20 pages of the ways we show people their lives don’t matter. This piece speaks to that.
Don’t tell me that ALL lives matter until they truly do. Don’t tell me that until LGBT lives matter, homeless lives matter, veteran lives matter, poor lives matter, those with mental health challenges lives matter, women’s lives matter, the lives of people of color, refugee lives matter, and Muslims matter. Until then,
sit down and shut up with all lives matter. Until it is evident and people are not dying by virtue of their position in life, the color of their skin, their sexuality or gender, save it for when it is really true.
Should ALL lives matter? Absolutely! But they don’t currently in a myriad of ways. So use your voice to get into the trenches, meet someone who is different from you and learn from them about their unique challenges and work to solve problems rather than armchair quarterbacking.
Until ALL lives matter is true, spare me the platitudes.. They are meaningless.
Painting info: Until All Lives TRULY Matter 40 x 40" gallery wrapped canvas Mixed media: collage, acrylics, altered tags, deconstructed coin belt