Friday, November 30, 2012
"Respect for Others", 15" x 22", colored pencils.
I had many thoughts behind the theme of the work itself. I began to see in the world around me, in my personal view, that while great strides have been made socially and institutionally, behind closed doors or in our neighborhoods, racism and the broader theme of how we esteem or value one another is still very much an issue. By this I speak of the broader aspect of how we view others around us in every day life. This work portrays an uplifting message “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). The title embodies this value, that of respect for others. While the theme is racial healing, it is in fact much wider in the idea of relating to another.
As I created this work, my mind and heart reflected on my own feelings of having been treated as less than others by my peers in the past. Many of us have had deeply hurtful experiences of many different kinds. While my own experience could never compare to experiences in others lives in larger contexts of racism or abuse, it did provide an emotional tie to me as I created the work. I had found in it a much larger issue of human nature in how we relate to one another. It is really quite universal in all of us. In my life it had became a strong motivation to treat others with equal respect from a value that had deep meaning to me. These are expressed as personal or relational values in “Respect for Others”; it is therefore not a work that is political or sociological in intent. It is rather an issue of the heart.
While the work seems quite simple both in artistic approach and topic, the closer we look the more we find it is quite complex. I find that very much true in the human hand, as well as our experiences and the human heart.