Art Gallery Pasadena
Art Gallery Pasadena
All In Due Time
Open Art Calls Accepted Artists
Baltimore, Maryland USA
All Lives Matter Flag
I created this piece of artwork as a response to a themed exhibition on “patriotism” at a local art collective just after the riots in Baltimore. I thus questioned how patriotic I was and knew that I did not want to paint another red, white, and blue flag or other nationalist symbol. I was taught from an early age that the United States is a “melting pot” made up of people from around the world. In keeping the overall structure of the American flag, I sought to convey this diversity by incorporating the world’s 195 flags and the phrase “All Lives Matter.” By integrating the world’s flags within the US flag’s design, I wanted to both symbolize our nation’s internal diversity and criticize its hypocritical xenophobia. This is my response to the anti-immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric in the US.
I also wanted to illustrate that words matter. The change in one word from “Black” to “All” in the slogan “All Lives Matter” indeed shifts the attention away from the just concerns of the “Black Lives Matter” movement about police violence and racial injustice toward African Americans. This change in wording raised for me the “red flags” of xenophobia, anti-immigration policies, and discrimination against others based on their nationality, ethnicity, and religion. Realistically, I think that people who do not believe that “all lives matter” will probably not rally around “black lives matter.” I hope to help shift and possibly expand the perspective of some of these people through reflection on what it means to be patriotic. My aspiration is that, all in due time, this reimagined “All Lives Matter” flag will help change the psyche of the American people toward a more inclusive perspective on the range of humanity that constitutes the fabric of our nation.
With respect to my design choices, instead of placing the flags alphabetically, I put all of the flags that had a similar structure to the US flag (with a square in the upper left corner) on the sixth line. I then dispersed the other flags according to colors, images, and forms that were aesthetically pleasing to me. This flag visually represents the “tossed salad” rather than “melting pot” metaphor as more appropriate for the distinct cultural, ethnic, and racial identities in the US. I also wanted to show that we are made up of people from all nations and yet also experience some “melting” or integration with one another. I conveyed this as well with the shared colors of some of the flags blending seamlessly into their neighboring flags. I created an American flag that I can believe in. I hope that others can believe in it as well.
The views expressed by our artists in their artist statements do not necessarily represent the views of our art galleries. Artists can be visually expressive but may verbally misrepresent their true intentions or ideas. Please note that we support expression, whether it is controversial or not, but our intention is never to offend.
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Our owner and curator is Linnea Lenkus, who also owns two portrait studios and has a passion for high quality art. She admires the work of every Linus art gallery in Pasadena.