Title

Physicist from the Injustice System Series [Painting]

Faculty Advisor

Elliott Jones

Presentation Type

Artwork

Disciplines

Painting

Description/Abstract

Artist Statement

Physicist is part of the Injustice System series that explores the grotesque discrimination found within the American criminal justice system, and the mass incarceration of minority groups, particularly African Americans. Inspired by Michelle Alexander's book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, the paintings are a visual response to the humanitarian crisis highlighted. This painting parallels the overrepresentation of African Americans within the criminal justice system, with their underrepresentation within the STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

By painting African American people succeeding in various professional STEM fields–such as the woman physicist in this work–then building a frame for the paintings that drops "prison bars" in front of the image, blocking its view, I hope to create discomfort for the viewers. It is my goal that the audience will begin engaging in a narrative that questions the current system, and contemplating of how the system can change.

This painting was created utilizing oils on a 30 x 40" panel, with a frame built from wooden boards and steel conduit piping that has been painted off-white. The woman in the portrait is a physicist, made evident by the formula she is beginning to write. The scientist is painted realistically, and maintains eye contact with the viewer through the bars, as if challenging them to do something about her situation. She embodies an achievable future for African Americans, juxtaposed against one of the most prominent barriers placed upon the black community--systematic racism and oppression.

Session Title

Art Exhibit

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northeast Atrium

Start Date

3-2-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

3-2-2018 12:30 PM

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Feb 3rd, 8:00 AM Feb 3rd, 12:30 PM

Physicist from the Injustice System Series [Painting]

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northeast Atrium

Artist Statement

Physicist is part of the Injustice System series that explores the grotesque discrimination found within the American criminal justice system, and the mass incarceration of minority groups, particularly African Americans. Inspired by Michelle Alexander's book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, the paintings are a visual response to the humanitarian crisis highlighted. This painting parallels the overrepresentation of African Americans within the criminal justice system, with their underrepresentation within the STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

By painting African American people succeeding in various professional STEM fields–such as the woman physicist in this work–then building a frame for the paintings that drops "prison bars" in front of the image, blocking its view, I hope to create discomfort for the viewers. It is my goal that the audience will begin engaging in a narrative that questions the current system, and contemplating of how the system can change.

This painting was created utilizing oils on a 30 x 40" panel, with a frame built from wooden boards and steel conduit piping that has been painted off-white. The woman in the portrait is a physicist, made evident by the formula she is beginning to write. The scientist is painted realistically, and maintains eye contact with the viewer through the bars, as if challenging them to do something about her situation. She embodies an achievable future for African Americans, juxtaposed against one of the most prominent barriers placed upon the black community--systematic racism and oppression.