Plague Faces No. 16
May 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 in.
I want to be clear why I created the Plague Faces series.
By the time I’d returned home from the hike the four aspects of the project were forming in my mind:
- bringing the faces of the lost before us
- marking the ongoing loss daily by posting the faces with a statement on social media
- raising money for covid relief
- exploring artistically the potential of an initial vision
Whether the actual works are successful artistically is its own matter. But I believe firmly in the need to recognize the loss and the culpability. Silence — and evasion, and denial — is death.
If you need a real-life face, and a family with the grief and rage of avoidable profound loss, see the righteous obituary for Arizona covid victim Mark Antony Urquiza of Arizona. (Edited to add: The Urquiza family social media campaign is Marked by Covid.)
I paint this series to recognize those who have died or suffered grave loss in this crisis, and, further, to accuse those who have knowingly, willfully, or carelessly pursued polices, actions, and inactions that allowed these deaths and suffering to happen and who continue to do so at this moment.