What When Who - Original
- Original (Oil) - 30" x 72" - $40,500
All three of the people featured in this painting were imprisoned for what they said, when they said it, or who they were. This artwork serves as a reminder that the freedom of speech that we hold dear can’t be conditional on the “What, When and Who."
Message from the artist:
This painting was born out of the frustration of shutting people up. I was fed up with the continual silencing of people going against the mainstream establishment and how we never seem to learn from history. That’s why, in this painting, I wanted to depict the mug shots of three American heroes who were arrested in an attempt to silence them. But they couldn’t be stopped.
The figure on the far left is Lenny Bruce, a comedian from the 1960s. He was arrested over and over again because he freely talked about men and women in ways that were deemed “obscene” at the time. He did so to try to make a point, that all speech, even taboos, should be protected by the First Amendment. He was imprisoned for what he said.
Martin Luther King Jr. stands in the middle. He rallied the nation around the timeless truths of man’s equal standing before God, regardless of race, religion, or creed. They tried to silence him in the 1960s for daring to say that all men are created equal and that we were failing to live out that statement. The problem is not what he said. It’s when he said it.
On the right is Dalton Trumbo a famous Hollywood screenwriter and one of the many Americans to go to prison for being a Communist. Trumbo testified in court defending his right, under the First Amendment, to hold different beliefs from the mainstream. Even though he held beliefs completely different from the classical principles of the American founding, do not those very same principles guarantee his freedom of thought? He was imprisoned for who he was.