Size: 12″ x 18″
Paper: high-quality 130# Sterling
$30.00 – $70.00
|Dimensions||18 × .01 × 12 in|
Size: 12″ x 18″
Paper: high-quality 130# Sterling
Final drawing: “The (Un)Chosen One: A Man’s Destiny.” 14” x 22”. Pencil on paper.
This drawing has many levels of meaning and, based on the various social media comments that I’ve read, sentiments towards Kaep range from “hero” to “traitor”. This piece embodies those reactions, and everything in between.
On one side are the folks who view Kaep as the person giving a voice to the voiceless, and standing up for a group of people who have been largely ignored by mainstream society.
Conversely, there are many people who are outraged at what Kaep has done and, for some of those people, they’d be perfectly content with literally crucifying him for his actions.
This piece exemplifies the culmination of Society’s sentiment and depicts one group’s clear outrage at what Kaep has done, and now seeks to bestow punishment upon him.
However, Kaep is resolute in his commitment. He sets his gaze firmly back at the viewer as to say “I’m ready. I’m not afraid. For I believe so strongly in the cause that I’m willing accept my destiny… while looking you squarely in the eye as you inflict judgement upon me.” This pieces highlights the dichotomy of righteousness. Depending on your perspective, he is either “UnChosen One” who is looked upon unfavorably and deserves the ire spewed in his direction…
Or he is the “Chosen One” sent to right the racial inequalities that are deeply embedded in our culture, and ultimately establish a newfound level of equality for all.
Either way, his destiny calls, and that calling reaches far beyond the football field.
$30.00 – $70.00
|Dimensions||18 × .01 × 12 in|
“I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged.” – Bruce Lee
Finishing up the background and will then go back through the entire piece one more time to add all of the fine details.
“Racism is not about how you look, it’s about how people assign meaning to how you look.” – Robin D.G. Kelly
Backwards hat. Baggy clothes. Tattoos. Nice car on 22’s. Loud rap music.
Visualize the person that I just described. Who do you see?
A thug? Criminal? Drug dealer? Gangster? A black man?
Actually, I just described myself. But, if I look like this, certainly I must be dangerous, right?
We, as a society, are so quick to discriminate based on how a person looks, and NO RACE is immune to these snapshot judgments.
But, as it turns out, people are hard to hate up close. So maybe it’s time we all move a little closer.
Get to know someone who looks completely different than you, and shatter the stereotypes. You never know… you just might make a new friend.
I’ve stated several times what this piece is about – and what it isn’t about – but that hasn’t stopped people to making up their own meaning of the piece, which is actually something that I encourage.
Art is… what YOU make of it.
As I’ve noticed in the comments across social media, many people *want* this piece to have a religious undertone, and then proceed to proclaim that this piece is “blasphemy” and “sacrilegious.”
Equally interesting is the fact that people have also used religion to defend and justify the importance of a piece like this. One person stated that this piece reminded her of John 15 13: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Just think… two people can see the same thing exact thing and have two completely different reactions – even after a clear explanation was given.
Sounds strikingly similar to what’s happening with the NFL protest, no?
“People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusion destroyed.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Ignorance is bliss, as they say. But being ignorant is not necessarily the fault of the inflicted individual; after all, we don’t know what we don’t know. The true problem arises when a person is presented overwhelming evidence and still believes the opposite is true.
Earlier this year I teamed up with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to raise money for charity. When we discussed which cause should benefit, they were strongly in favor of using the funds towards social justice and race inequality issues.
Wait… why?! I thought to myself. It’s 2017… does racial and social inequality still exists? I mean, sure they happen occasionally, but we just had a black president so it can’t be that bad, right?
I was ignorant. Not because I’m racist or I’m against any particular group. Rather, because I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I’m white. I live in a nice neighborhood. I wasn’t seeing or experiencing inequalities first hand so I never really paid much attention to those issues and, as a result, it was relatively easy for me to dismiss them as not being a “real” problem because they didn’t directly affect me.
However, since that fundraiser with M&RL, I started paying closer attention to what was actually happening. I did my own research and found many recent examples to racial and social injustice. I also asked a few of my black friends about their experience. These guys are pretty successful (high paying jobs, great families, etc) so I assumed they would tell me “no.” Instead, they looked at me like “Are you serious?! Yes, we can give you lots of examples. How much time do you have?”
If you don’t think these issues exist then I implore you to get out of your bubble and talk to other people, and learn what’s really happening. But that would require two things: 1) effort and 2) possibly putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation and learning things you’d rather pretend don’t exist.
On second thought, maybe it’s just better to preserve the illusion that everything is great for everyone.
“You can create laws to change a racist’s actions, but you cannot change a racist’s mind. That’s why fighting racism is and always will be a continuous battle.” – Brenda Cherry
I’ve found it interesting that, the further that I progress through this drawing, the more hate-filled comments and messages I receive – particularly on Facebook. In fact, the images and videos of this drawing have been reported as “offensive” and, as a result, the visibility of my updates is being suppress so not many people can see it.
Apparently some people aren’t fans of race equality. The battle continues…
“There is really no such thing as ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” – Arundhati Roy
Tightening up the details a bit more in Kaepernick’s abdominal area. I’m utilizing the lighting and shading to give the body a sense of weight, while also making the piece more visually striking – both of which should help enhance the overall emotional aspect.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” – Desmond Tutu
Applying the first layer of shading to Kaepernick7’s abdomen area. I really want to not only focus on how the lighting plays a key role in defining the body’s volume and helps provide a sense of weight, but also how it enhances the intended “mood” of the piece itself.
“True equality means holding everyone accountable in the same way, regardless of race, gender, faith ethnicity – or political ideology.” – Monica Crowley
This quote seems obvious. Well, yeah, of course everyone should be accountable for their actions, duh?! But, is that happening?
Ask yourself, are you truly holding *all* people accountable for their actions? Or do you defend and rationalize one person’s actions while vilifying another’s?
I’ve seen this so often on both sides:
He didn’t say that. And if he did he didn’t mean that. And if he did, you didn’t understand it. And if you did, it’s not a big deal. And if it is, others have said worse. (I saw this online and thought it was quite appropriate). And therein lies part of the problem: many of us often speak with blinders on – dead-set on only proving our own point and quick to dismiss other’s – while simultaneously displaying a complete lack of compassion and understanding for the other person’s perspective.
So, maybe we can all start listening more and talking less. After all, your ears will never get you in trouble.
Drawing progress update: I finished the tattoos on his left bicep. However, when I took a step back and reviewed my drawing, I felt like the tattoos who actually look different from this angle. That, as the arm is extended, the tattoos would also stretch. To me, my version of the tattoos didn’t feel “real” so…. I erased it and started over on the tattoos. For me, this doesn’t happen very often, but when you know something isn’t right, you do whatever you need to do to fix it – even if that means completely erasing an area of the drawing and starting over.
“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” – Malcolm X
Shouts to all the folks who have respectfully commented on my posts across social media! I specifically appreciate the people who have a different opinion than mine, and post to help me understand their perspective. Trust me, I’ve received a lot of comments and and messages that consists of personal attacks, which are completely unconstructive if we’re trying to develop a mutual understanding. Let’s all listen to understand – instead of listening to reply. 🙏
“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.” – MLK Jr.
Colin’s movement has certainly “cut,” and the power of his “weapon” has opened a national conversation around police brutality and equality.
However, instead of trying to understand WHY the “cut” happened in the first place. Instead of pausing and internalized the message itself, many people are quick to execute their “counter-attack” in the form of opposition simply because of the manner in which the message was delivered.
I totally understand why folks are upset about the protest during the anthem. But when a message of change continues to largely fall on deaf ears, how does one get the attention of the masses to enact change? Sure, there *might* be other avenues which could yield the same level of attention, but the mere fact that we’re discussing the deliver mechanism of the message more prominently than the message itself only further reinforces the need for such an eye-opening protest.
Ultimately, don’t we ALL want the same thing? Are you FOR police brutality? Are you FOR inequality? I hope you answered “no” to both of those questions.
The cut is wide open, but we, as people, are not wounded. Each of us holds a sword that heals, and that healing will only happen when we come together and fight for the same team: humanity.
Adding a little more detail to further define Kaepernick’s tattoos. These tattoos are particularly difficult because I have to draw them with his arms spread out, which obviously look different when the skin is stretched in such a way.
Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you.
It seems like, underneath it all, some people feel as though something is being taken away from them if we’re all equal… as if it’s a zero sum game. What would happen if gay, lesbian, transgendered, blacks, whites, etc… ALL had the same rights, and everyone felt as though the could live their own, authentic life without the fear of persecution or discrimination? Would your life be affected if this were the case? Probably not. Yet so many people are adamantly opposed to equal rights for all. Why? Once we, as people, realize that our difference should not only be openly accepted but also celebrated then this world will be a better place for everyone – even those who stand again equality in the first place.
Slowly adding more details to Kaepernick’s face, and also playing with the lighting and how I want it to interact with his facial features and tattoos. Lots of decisions to still be made regarding the direction I want to take this piece. Definitely taking an organic approach to the creation process of this drawing.
Art and artists have always had a role – and responsibility – to not only create work that is reflective of our society, but also takes a stance and challenges others’ views and perceptions.
I’m starting on a new piece that I hope does just that, and this one will be much different than anything I’ve ever created.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what @kaepernick7 has started, and I continue to be amazing at how people can have polar opposite views of the same act.
On one side is Kaep and the players who peacefully protest against police brutality and promote equality (they are NOT protesting against military, the anthem, etc… how do I know? Because they’ve repeated stated this so there should be no ambiguity). No more police brutality and equality for all… two things that you’d think people would universally support.
However, on the other side is a group of people who have taken the position that the players ARE anti-military, anti-anthem, etc simply because of *how* they’ve chosen to protest. These folks are so outraged at the protest itself, and have disregarded the reason for the protest in the first place.
Originally I was going to write a long post about my thoughts on this situation but, over the past few weeks, I think just about every points has been mentioned for/against both sides.
Instead, I’m creating a piece of art that I hope can tell the story better than using words.
To be clear, this piece is NOT about which side is right or wrong; rather, it’s a piece that is rooted in social commentary – specifically in regards to those who oppose the protests.
So, even though I’ve stated what this piece is about, I’m curious to see how folks react as I progress through the piece. As such, this piece will also be a bit of a social experiment to see if people can see the same visual imagery and yet create their own meaning to fit their own narrative.