"Walking On Air"
History in the painting
acrylic on canvas
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I painted "Walking on Air" while just outside of the Government Center in Minneapolis, MN. The location where the Derek Chauvin trial occurred for the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.
I decided after the court date was announced that I would be creating art during and among the swell of energy of the people. Honestly, I thought I would be painting this piece of art while in the middle of a "loverising" (as I call it, some call it an uprising, others a riot) after the verdict came back, as justice has often fell short for African-Americans in this country. Even in the face of the obvious.
After the announcement came that a verdict was in I found myself among the people. I began to paint what my life's experience with these cases has accustomed me to. The let down. The knowing that once again my reflection wasn't seen as valid. Not as human.
So I began painting in darker ominous hues and the intense anger of red. Then something happened. The verdict came in and what I was "used to" didn't happen. A guilty verdict was announced. The collective roar of the people, the joy in their voices and the harmony of cars honking their horns for this victory, if only for a moment...directed my paintbrush to change courses as my spirit was freed into blues, oranges and the other hues that are predominant in this painting. All symbolic of hope and light.
4/20 was a new day...if only for a moment we could breathe for George and we were all "Walking On Air".