11/10/16: This election was decided almost entirely by white voters. 80% of “evangelicals” voted for a candidate who actively denies one of the truest aspects of their faith (recognizing the need for and seeking of forgiveness), because he aligns with a Conservative party. I’m a straight white Christian male. Because of my wife, I live comfortably in the middle class. On paper I am solidly in the Trump camp, except for the fact I live in California.
This should bother white Americans, on both sides of the aisle. There should be some serious introspection as to why one group of people is sitting by themselves at the celebration table, and what that means. I don’t think all Trump supporters are racist bigots, in fact, I doubt most of them even know any people of color or LGBT identity which is a symptom of the problem.
I think we first need to come to terms with recognizing this monolith. White folks, myself included, have to stop pointing the finger and dissociating, and figure out how to break the monolith. Preferably we dismantle it rather than destroy it, but something needs to change. I have no idea where to start. But I’m going to fumble around with the words and type and ink for a while to start trying to figure it out.
I wrote the above text two days after the election of Donald Trump, accompanying the first piece of this series, “To Find A Crack In A Monolith”. After spending the day earlier in complete shock, as I’m sure almost the entire country did — supporters and opposition — I had to make something. I make work about communities and culture, but until this piece, I would not have said I made overtly political work. Over the last year, this claim has been completely upended, both within this series and my artistic practice as a whole. The constant political news stream, commentary, and alarms lit an urgency in me to process and try to find a voice in the most familiar and immediate medium I could, using the letterpress type and presses in my home studio. I find power in the relationship between printed ephemera and political activity, even within small editions and physical sizes. Reading back on this passage, I believe we have made steps in recognizing and dismantling the “monolith”, but have constantly been met with new objects to fortify it. This collection of prints documents that processing and struggle, seeking solutions, grasping for hope.
All pieces in this collection are letterpress printed in oil based ink, in edition sizes between 8 and 25, created throughout 2016 and 2017.