Stand - Original
- Original (Oil) - 42" x 55" - $43,312
Message from the artist:
I don’t know how many times I took out this painting, put it away, and took it out again. I knew I was deeply inspired by this moment, but I simply didn’t know how to properly communicate the story. Until I did.
This painting is of FDR on December 8, 1941, delivering one of the most powerful speeches in U.S. history. The day before, the U.S. had been bombed at Pear Harbor by the Japanese, the first foreign attack on U.S. soil since the War of 1812. FDR was telling a reeling nation that they were going to war against the very people who had bombed them as well as against Mussolini and Hitler.
This was no time to show weakness.
Yet FDR was, in a very real way, extremely weak. He had no power at all underneath his hips and was totally paralyzed from the waist down due to polio. He went to great lengths to conceal his condition from the press and the American people. Every day, he would rely on his son to put his braces on and walk, linking arms, hand in hand, because he wanted to learn how to walk on his own, showing strength, not weakness.
On this day, he showed great strength when the American people needed it most.
I wanted to show the leg braces hidden underneath his legs that were propping him up in this critical moment. His knuckles are white from holding onto the podium for dear life. If he lets go, we will fall. What kind of a message would that send to the Axis powers?
I don’t like his policies, but he inspired me in this moment for what he did. He had every excuse to sit down in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, looking into the darkness that loomed ahead.
But the American people needed him to stand. And he stood.