Artist Statement: Persons of Privilege

 

Persons of Privilege is a series that addresses an effort to understand current events by examining structures and institutions of our American culture from the 1950’s as a cautionary tale. That was a time in our history that supported white male privilege, sexism, heterosexism, and racism and therefore set the stage for a great effort to undo it. During my lifetime a lot was undone. There has been steady progress in the area of human rights, not leaps and bounds, but persistent and forward. That emphasis on inclusiveness and empathy was my foundation. Watching this hard-earned progress unravel has created a need for me to understand.

I’m working in small metals that function as wearable art ‘for the rest of us.’ In the center of the Persons of Privilege metaphorical spiral is the white male in a position of power who sometimes preys on those who are not. This series functions as body adornment meant only for people within the spiral but outside of the center and therefore, have experienced varying degrees of marginalization, discrimination, and abuse.

I began this series seven months ago. The source imagery and material come from antique copper etching plates from the 1950s. These images represent a primary source of my lifetime. In my need to understand, it makes sense to start at the beginning with a hope to avoid the past as Prolog.

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