What does redemption look like to you? In 2018 Open Spaces publisher and environmental attorney, Penny Harrison sent me Jane Mayer’s book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right and challenged me to make a responsive painting. And from that painting she suggested I produce a jigsaw puzzle…a 10,000 piece puzzle to be exact.
That same summer educational writers/activists Kathleen and Robert Thurston-Lighty sent me Ibrahim X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.
My summer reading = deeply disturbing double-feature of depraved economics and decrepit democracy. Did I mention DJT was serving as the 45th president of the U.S.A.?
Initially I created a very didactic landscape of names – Olin, Coors, Rockefeller and other tycoons embroiled in decades of power plays. Then Providence gallerist Jonny Skye showed up for her first studio visit. She was planning an exhibition called, “Redemption: Is there a morale economy?” I showed her this painting in progress…and its title manifested on the spot: REDEMPTION – a play on the economics-based etymology of “redeem.” What price redemption?