Imagine

Story

Imagine

2016

Oil on Canvas

30″ x 40″

The recent struggles with shootings, racism, sexism and violence in America are systematic issues that are in dire need of help and improvement. The issues that have been at the forefront of our minds and hearts, and on our news channels are not going away without sincere and thorough discourse and debate—but they are ever present in the lives of many. I painted this painting in response to some of that. The title and background words in this piece, “Imagine,” are taken from John Lennon’s song of the same name, which I felt truly reflected how I felt after I got news of the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016. Music is always a big factor in my art practice and process, and occasionally it shows up in the works themselves. I was thinking about the lyrics at this time—“no countries…nothing to kill or die for…imagine all the people”—thinking of all the people that died and continue to do so in these shootings, and wondering what could be done to remedy this situation in our country. I utilized the stylistic qualities of graffiti and mixed them with the stylistic qualities of dripping blood as a means to further point out the relevancy of the words in relation to the recent mass shootings. The figure in this painting is in deep thought, gazing off into the distance. Behind her is the faint image of the American flag, symbolically fading away into nothingness. Although the sentiment is not new, it is relevant at this time again in our country.