Current political realities continue to shift at an alarming pace. As an artist, inspiration comes at a price for public discourse. Leaders that pick power over the public good continue fail citizens. In my artworks, I try to encourage civic participation and engagement for meaningful change.
For many years, I’ve been studying symbols of influence and power that impact democracy. My practice is research based: studying the interdependent yet divisive relationships within social behavior, institutions, and history. A reoccurring theme appears: alternative realities thriving on disenfranchisement in a broken system built on systemic disparity.
What does voter representation and engagement look like in America? This key concept inspired my artwork VOTE, a custom safety sign mirror. Democracy must be protected!
VOTE description: In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton received 2,868,691 more votes than Donald J. Trump. According to the United States Elections Project, only 58.1% of the voting-eligible population participated. A safety sign mirror becomes repurposed confronting and questioning a citizen’s civic responsibility. Democracy succeeds when every vote is counted reflecting the equal participation of all.
When looking into the mirror, I’m captioned with a word rooted in a virtue of democracy. The viewer’s environment filters into the experience. From the late Elijah Cummings: “When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?” Time to move forward in his legacy!