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Edward Rice
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2020

Recently my goal has been to create paintings that seem valid for our time. I began "Unnamed" in 2019, after reading "Slavery by Another Name—The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War ll", by Douglas A. Blackmon. The book chronicles the sickening history of forced labor in the US. One image in the book particularly appalled me—an image of a man tied to a pickaxe and left in the dirt like a sacrificial animal. The faded image was only two inches across. My idea was to bring the reality of this horror to a larger audience, and present the image larger than life (seven feet across) like a religious painting from the past, by transposing the photographic image into the power of the language of painting.

Seemingly unrelated, Folk l through Folk lX explore figure / ground relationships using a racial stereotype as my motif. The paintings reference an unusually strange example of mid 19th century American folk art.

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