Today marks a historic day. Today (July 10th, 2015) marks the day that the confederate civil war flag which represented the south has now permanently came down from flying about the South Carolina state house. My only regret, is that I wasn't there to see it come down personally, with my lady.
This is a very big deal for South Carolina, my home state. I could go on and on about it. However, this passage of my blog isn't to educate, or disperse my opinion on the topic. I find this occasion to be the perfect opportunity to explain a painting that I've done in the past, that is directly corralled to todays events, in a poetic way.
The Old South is the New South's Nightmare.
I did this painting back in 2009, and it came from a very positive, and proud place. After moving away from the south, I'd see that flag and always think of home. Yeah, some would consider that to be a shame be it that I'm an african-american, but hey, I didn't see what everyone else did. I didn't grow naturally disgusted by the particulars of this flag. All the whites that I knew never flew that flag in my face with malicious intent, so it was never a burning passion of opposition inside me when I saw the flag. You learn in school, or your parents/grandparents have a strong reaction, and for those obvious reasons it was something I didn't particularly entertain.
My intention was to create a narrative that would catch one's eye, and make positive commentary on a very unfavorable symbol, of the south's disgusting past. After all, I'm proud of the south and I'm proud of my past. This fact is something I will not shy from. My heritage travels with me internationally, spiritually, and unconditionally. Pride gives a man solid ground to stand on, no matter how its viewed amongst the masses, so when doing this painting I simply thought of the image as a 2-Dimensional banner of my roots, AND what I believe our tree will grow into in the future.
I used myself as the model, to represent all african-american peers from South Carolina. In the reflection of the avaitors which the metaphor is wearing, you'll see a reflection of the south carolina state house post 2003 after all the rebel flag was originally taken down atop the dome. This was HUGE at the time, and caused quite the stir. The figure is gazing towards the right side of the flag symbolizing progression. In the background/woven into the fabric in a more subtle manner which graduates to a much starker contrast as the eye continues right is a paisley/floral pattern. Even though these elements are working together on this confederated layout, I was able (and determined) to represent all 16 stars on the flag in the design. Once could make the argument that I missed one that should be placed in the eye of the glasses, but the focal point was placed in line of that last star purposely. The odd shaped figure in the top right corner which is in place of a star is the state of South Carolina.
The point of the painting is pretty simple. WE ALL are looking towards growth. WE ALL want a better tomorrow for our children and the south in general. We get a bad wrap for plenty of things, but hope, and pride will not be one of them. The south is literally, headed in the "right" direction in this painting, and I do believe older southerns (responsible for all this mess in the first place) are rolling around in their graves. But honestly, fuck em! Their dead anyway! A new south is approaching, and we are seeing change everyday, through our aviators!