photograph by Orestes Gonzalez
Hey, little girl, you want some candy? I have Tootsie Rolls, Sugar Daddies, Chocolate Kisses and Sweet Tarts. If you’re good and sweet, you can have all the candy you can hold.
Hey, little boy, you want a gun? I have one that goes bang. If you are tough and strong, you can have all the guns you can hold.
Hey, little girl, you want a gun? I have one that will protect you from the man with the candy and the boy that goes bang. If you take careful aim, you can have all the guns you can hold.
We promise our children safety, but we give them violence. The girl that becomes a woman and the boy that becomes a man in our society have real reason to fear, because the only roles that we have allowed to be acceptable are roles that appropriate and embrace violence overtly and covertly. I want to make beautiful work but I don't live in a beautiful world. These works are meant to be intimate and finely painted. When I paint, I am trying to reconcile violence and compassion. I use fine sable brushes and each face is smaller than my fingerprint. It is in the details and the small where I find the inner voices of girls and boys.