Call for Entries Accepted Artists
Artist Mary Kay Stam
Orange, California, USA
Men At The Gate with Veil
Over and over during the painting of this series I had to ask myself where art stopped and where propaganda began. As I reproduced Bourke-White’s famous image, I realized how well she understood her audience and the limitations of emotional information they could absorb. She carefully staged her photo.
Though every portrait in the frame is heartrending, Bourke-White placed the most defiant, healthiest man front and center, the most emaciated and beaten men on the fringes. Despite the horror, grateful for the small shield of her camera, she was still present enough to consider both her subjects and her audience. There is sensitivity. There is respect.
Which is the opposite of creating print and film scapegoating and vilifying entire races; glorifying a chosen few’s suppression of others with images of generations of blonde and blue eyed “heros” with bayonets. It is not a matter of perspective. It is not subjective or open to interpretation. It is also not clear in it’s intent or transparent in it’s approach.
Therefore, in Men At The Gate, the fragile translucence of the veil that casts this bloody shadow of suppression shows what’s behind the curtain.
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