Studies for the Liberty Project: Two Paintings
Acrylic on stretched canvas 30x40cm
Oil on canvas mounted on board 40x40cm
Here are 2 recent paintings for a project that I am working on, for now I will call it ‘The Liberty Project.’ Over the last years it seems that there is a lot of hate towards immigrants in the US and in addition since the whole 9/11 incident the US government has proactively tried to and successfully stripped its citizens of their freedoms. The trend against liberty and true freedom is part of my motivation to create this project.
-a series of paintings of varying sizes with various techniques – some mixed media pieces as well.
-uses the statue of liberty as the centerpiece of the art to illustrate thoughts and ideas of the nation, where is was and is now.
relatively coherent thoughts and facts about my personal family history and opinions relating to this project
At least 3 of my grandparents came to america by ship and they were greeted by Lady Liberty upon their arrival in the US before moving to the Pittsburgh area where they would meet up with other relatives who came before them. This was the promised land, open to everyone.
My grandfathers Edward Adam (later changed to Adams) and Vasile Fedorchak (took Charles as his american name) came to the US from Germany and the Austro Hungarian Empire prior to the end of WWI and my grandmother, Sophie came from (present day) Ukraine between the World Wars. Sophie by a twist of fate embarked on a journey meant originally for her sister Julia and arrived in the US in the early 1920s. The other grandmother, I think she came too by ship but it is really unclear about her exact arrival or age. My parents as first generation americans rebelled against their heritage and culture in many ways and they were from different european backgrounds so the intermingling, diluted culture, while they embraced the american culture and even moved away from their families – yet still keeping some traditions.
Both of my parents had visited the Statue of Liberty after moving to the New York area and my father photographed the Statue of Liberty in the 1970s and it is from this original series of b&w 8×10 photos that he gave me, along with other illustrations and historical photos of the Statue of Liberty that I will use as reference materials. I grew up near to Lady Liberty and have visited it and climbed its stairs.
A lot of my opinions and experiences of the once great nation have been colored by my studies in college specifically 3 course – International Relations, The American Experience and Global Issues. Global Issues was the most depressing class I have ever taken. This was like a continuation of my Social Justice class in HS. The difference being that in HS the teachings included a push towards solutions and gave historical examples of successful resolutions of big problems. Global Issues just seemed like a bombardment of the worlds woes and ills socially and environmentally with little hope and after each lecture it seemed like the world was doomed. It was easy to fall into despair afterwards and it took a day to recover from one of the lectures. Of course the goal of the class was to actually create awareness and hopefully instill responsibility and active participation in helping to create new paradigms…but nonetheless it was pretty horrific. Frankly I steered away from any political reference of motivations in my art.
Apathy = powerlessness – which is easy to fall into this trap. The world’s problems seem so huge and individually the lone self (and the american way is [IMHO to its detriment] too highly individualistic and extremely self oriented) can be easily overwhelmed.
The ongoing continual interference of the US Govt through military action against nations they have no right or business being in, all for corporate interests, whilst citizens carry on with no thought of the horrors of war. Meanwhile turning each other against each other with this whole hate based anti immigration stuff. It is not just immigration stuff either.In the early 2000s a key moment of recognition of just how seriously fkd up things were, was a day when driving down the highway an electronic billboard (usually used for traffic backup announcements for the Lincoln Tunnel) stated something like –
Report any suspicious persons you know by calling this 800 number #######
I remember thinking to myself, that I now lived in the beginnings of a communist state. But really it seemed like this was just a great way to get you to be paranoid, divide people and create hate. WTF? Of course the big difference in the US is that socialist ideals are sadly frowned upon and confused with communism. But that is another essay to be written by someone else. Of course much more recently all the NSA bullshit and it seems the ever increasing level of unwarranted police brutality on citizens is all too common, violent crimes committed by individuals and law enforcement, as well as the mass shootings and in my opinion the level of drug abuse with both legal and illegal drugs is just wrecking havoc – especially prescription drugs.
Mind you, I left in 2005 and no nation is perfect. Where I am now there are many problems facing this nation, many of which are similar to the US – especially the greed and sell-out to corporations…but again another essay for someone else. My perspective is colored too by the news that is presented to me from a non-US point of view.
That is the short of it for now.
UPDATE: here is a site with some pix – http://www.the-liberty-project.net/ I also want to state too that due to a real lack of funding this project never got to where I wanted it to be – although I worked with the materials I have and purchased materials and even had a small studio space for a couple of months. I could not afford a studio beyond that and had to work smaller when the original project needs some big works which require space – surely this will be revisited in the future. But until I actually have a space all my work will remain on the small scale and be limited to drawing and water based paints – my 1 room apt and 2 dogs as well as myself just cant live in a closed space with the smells associated with materials required for oil painting.
I’ve also added some of the random blog post links below that were posted to consolidate info.