GRAB 'EM BY THE PUSSYCAT
Created in direct response to Trump’s Billy Bush conversation, referred to as the “Access Hollywood” tape. One of his captured remarks… “You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” With that comment, Trump made it acceptable to say “pussy” in public… away from the “locker room," so-to-speak, and in this sentiment, Trump has made it acceptable to lie, swindle, cheat, belittle others, and “Make America Hate Again."
It seems to me that churches have been the least open and affirming in regard to the acceptance of same-sex relationships. The institution that pretends to promote peace and love, instead casts opinions over the proper way to condemn, and ostracize. Most important to remember,…we’re talking about love, for god’s sake.
Inspired by the precarious political situation in which our country has seemingly embraced, the "warning signs" keep accumulating. Dead canaries are signs of a toxic atmosphere in the coal mines. Caged by circumstances, we are faced with forty-five presidential bones of contention, hooked and grabbed by a monster pussycat with the trap awaiting. We are definitely being taken for a ride on the roller coaster from hell as Trump normalizes the abnormal!
# ME TOO
Oil on Canvas / Quilt Pieces / Found Object
Unfortunately, the #MeToo Movement has been a part of humanity since antiquity and little has changed over the course of time. These 100-year-old quilt pieces were gathered from an elderly friend, Pearl Hartley. The use of quilt patterns resonated because of my upbringing in the Mennonite tradition, however religion often facilitates harassment under the guise of a safe haven. Juried into the 2019 West Virginia Biennial Exhibition.
A GREAT, GREAT PEACE EXTINGUISHER
Polychromed Ceramics / Plastic / Chain / Copper Rods
Aligning each of Trump’s outrageous edicts next to biblical verses seems to sum up the incongruity of the moment. How can the Evangelical Religious Right call this president the “chosen one” in light of his rhetoric that contradicts the whole Jesus premise of peace and justice. This artwork debuted in Stuttgart, Germany in 2018 for a peace-themed group exhibition.
Polychromed Ceramics / Wood
What the hell went on in Charlottesville, Virginia? And worse yet, Trump had words of affirmation for the white supremacists! I asked Larry, an African-American friend of mine, whether or not he thought the current administration had encouraged latent racism to surface. “It was never latent to me,” he said. As an international symbol of hate, let’s cut up the confederate flag once and for all.
Polychromed Ceramics / Wood / Decals
Our belief structure is based on a series of "truths" presented to us by our parents, our religion, and our teachers. We receive these "truths" tainted with a personal agenda from each sender. It is our responsibility to sift through the minutia to determine our own path -- to see the light -- to define our own truth. Truth Wielder is intended to illuminate some of the inconsistencies that pervade the religious.
HOOK, LYING, AND SINKER
I remember thinking, “okay, I can forgive the people who voted for George W. Bush the first time, but there’s no possible way they can fall for it again.” As therapy to deal with the fact that he won a second term, I created this piece which reveals the trickery employed by politicians to secure the vote. On this “fishing pole” are 51 harpooned fish representing the percentage of voters who took the bait, were lured-in and got tricked.
AMERICAN TEA PARTY
Low-Fired Ceramics / Wood / Scripture
A conservative political movement emerged in America known as the “Tea Party” with intentions to force legislation that would inadvertently discriminate against various groups of individuals in our nation. Curiously, the Evangelical Right jumped on board and appeared to target groups that included minorities, women, and the LGBTQ community. Of particular concern, they used scripture to back their discriminatory rationale.
Completed while enjoying an art residency at the Lee Art Center in Arlington, Virginia, this piece was inspired by the political climate endured during the Bush administration. We continue to suffer from the Electoral College system where only a few select swing-states decide the election. In West Virginia, for instance, my vote is an “Empty Vote.” Please, oh please, can we switch to a popular vote?
This was in a show in Kentucky that Walter Hyleck juried…and he bought it! That made me so happy!
According to the biblical account, when confronted by the opposition Peter denied knowing Christ three times. After the third denial the rooster crowed and served to remind him of his failure. I can hear the rooster, but perhaps Rumi has a clarifying perspective …”there are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.”
Collection of Omar Eby
Oh my… the George W. The George W Bush administration offered up so much fodder for my art, and this was one of them. A life-size lawnmower spewing out blades with data recording the injuries and casualties in Iraq that happened under his watch.
Collection of Aaron Anslow.
Low-Fired Ceramics / Wood
As a fringe resident of Appalachia for decades, I have witnessed the abuse and manipulation of the people by big-business, and the government. The land was timbered mercilessly, the coal industry decimated the environment, and now fracking is compromising the water. The variety of terrain in Appalachia is best suited for the clean options of hydro, solar, and wind energy production but poverty and lack of education can trick the mind.
When Bush decided to start a conflict in the Middle East, it was rationalized by calling it a “preemptive strike” against potential villains. The “strike” that I created is a mix between bowling items and peace jargon. Every scripture in the Bible where the word “peace” is mentioned is written on the bowling ball…and one-thousand strikes adorn the warning cones. The use of fear-tactics always helps too, as seen in the “Terror Alert” cones.