Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ethnic Identity - Art

Ethnic Identity uses freeform shapes and a black and white color scheme to invoke racial identity, bringing these important social issues to the forefront of the viewer’s mind. Three figures occupy the space in this painting. Two of the shapes, each positioned toward the outside of the trio of figures, appear to be circles, or rather cuffs. These cuffs are a symbol of subjugation, of a binding of the wrists. This hint of racial conflict sets the tone for the painting, which is an intriguing study of the social impact of slavery and racism.

The central figure is of even more significance in the context of the painting’s commentary on racial issues. This figure looks as though it had once been shaped similarly to the others, but it has freed itself from the cuff and is now straining to stand upright, reaching upward toward the sky. This figure represents the potential for healing and rejuvenation that is possible in the wake of great social injustice. Ethnic Identity is a provocative, intelligent work that provides a stirring message about race and society.

©1998-2009 Claretta Taylor Webb. All Rights Reserved
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