May we never forget. "Vox Populi" Is a 24x48 mixed media on canvas (acrylic, pen and charcoal)
This piece is representative of many things but at the forefront is the spirit of American disobedience. The one phrase that emerged while trying to think of this concept was "to wake a sleeping giant". With a little research and a bit of digging back into my college years, a whole lot of hurt, fear, love and painstakingly long hours, "Vox Populi" (For The People) was created. As an artist, I chose to speak on only two subjects within this piece, leaving the rest for viewer interpretation. "Vox Populi" is intentionally ambiguous with hopes that no matter the viewer’s political affiliation, an intimate connection can be born.
As an American artist, I have always believed that Benjamin Franklin put it most eloquently when he compared America to a rattlesnake. He said that "she will lay quietly and warn even the worst of her enemies to tread lightly for once she begins her attack she will not stop."
As eloquent as those words may be, leave it to me to disagree with one of the most brilliant minds in human history... however, I only partially disagree. I think the rattlesnake represents each American as an individual person, NOT America as a whole. You see, the rattlesnake is surprisingly social; they have communal basking sites; mothers will defend their young and they've even been known to develop long lasting relationships. When they molt, or grow, they shed their outer skin as it has become too tight for occupation. Usually, the last part of the body to molt is their face which gave way to the saying "he's a snake with blue eyes." During this time, even though they're stronger, faster and larger than before, they are the most vulnerable and subsequently the most dangerous.
Lady liberty is one figure who, in my eyes, represents every American’s freedom, hope, and justice. She is a physical representation of what lies within the heart of hearts of all Americans. This figure is warm and kind; she is strong. For so long, she has beamingly sat dormant, shining her light brightly, reminding the rest of the world, only, to see that she was the keeper of the land of the free.
I argue that the very same torch is burning deep within that passion for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness exists within each American’s heart. It's time for those torches and that light to burn ever brighter in the heart of each American, not in conflict but in solidarity.
We the people ARE America. We are AMERICANS. We were founded in blood, sweat, fire, lead and yes... Tea. This land is the land of opportunity and plenty. Our bounty is available for those who reach for it, those who wish it upon themselves and strive for it; and it's time WE as Americans remember that, regardless of our political beliefs. In that solitary fact, we can unite just as our forefathers once did. We can unite within the light of freedom, the bond of American disobedience and in deep gratitude of the men, women and even animals who lost their lives to give us the boundless opportunities we have today. May this art piece give you the fuel to stoke the flame of hopeful freedom within your heart. The very same freedom that requires peace amongst us all, will unite us.
God Bless America.
In Congress, July 4th, 1776,
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, when in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate, and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.-- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.
November 5th, 2021
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