I made a mistake. When the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that states had to recognize same sex marriage I thought the fight was over.
The ruling that President Obama called “A victory for America” seemed to undo years of discrimination.
I created a series of original art prints in favor of marriage equality to celebrate the victory.
I still for the life of me can’t see how I was so shortsighted. Why didn’t I conjure the history of Roe v Wade?
Unfortunately, in this new era of radical conservatism doubling as fascism no personal liberty is safe.
Marriage Equality Needs To Be Protected
I’ve said recently that I’m not a political artist. Political artists like Banksy are agents of social commentary and change.
But no artist lives in a vacuum. Just today I was reading about Walt Whitman and his personal and political struggles with slavery laws in pre-Civil War America.
He wrote in 1856:
"The President eats dirt and excrement for his daily meals, likes it, and tries to force it on The States."
Whitman became a champion of civil liberties and equal rights.
Where are our Walt Whitmans today?
I took the print Freedom Rings to a gallery last year. Their director said something like “I would never have associated that with Gay Pride.”
It seemed shortsighted too.
The print came from an idea of using popular ads for rings in pre-WW2 America. There seemed to be a comment there that antiquated ideas of marriage were finally disappearing.
In addition, removing rings at random from the image indicated a number of ideas about the forgotten, removed, and invisible.
There is more to say here. But that's what art is for.
It seemed even better to put the image on clothing and other products. My first experiments with using art as fashion design came from Freedom Rings.
Wear The Resistance
There is a phrase “wear it out” that means to overuse something to the point of meaninglessness. Unfortunately we are not there when it comes to ideas about marriage equality.
Wear it out means resisting in all possible ways. Being out, being worn.
There is an exhaustion that could come from fighting for basic principles. There is an exhaustion that comes in the current political climate.
I can blame it on the possible subliminal messaging of Fox News. Pull your parents away from the TV!
I can blame it on the trickery of the 1 percent to turn people against one another in the same sleight of hand that has been going on for decades.
But I’ve worn out the excuses for the ignorant.
Today I wear out Freedom Rings. I continue to celebrate the word hope.
Click here now to see my original artwork series called Freedom Rings.