Oil Pastel on Archival Paper
19.5 x 25.5 inches
This was the second art piece I made during my stay New Zealand. I was struggling with finding meaningful employment in the isolated town we had taken up residence in, finding myself listening to American news. At this same time the protests were getting into full swing in Ferguson, MO, over the police shooting of another young unarmed black man, Michael Brown. Following the news feeds several times a day, waiting for a reaction from Barak Obama, I was feeling very preoccupied with these events and feeling very far away from home. New Zealand is a comparatively calm and peaceful place… and that’s a serious understatement. Things like police shootings just do not happen, much less authorities teargassing their own citizens. The police in NZ don’t even carry guns. I found myself making sketches based on imagery found in the news relating to these events. Eventually these drawings came together into a fictional piece based on the street protests and the police use of tear gas on the outraged citizens of Ferguson. I wondered what would happen if our president just happened to be on the streets of Ferguson at this same time. What would be going through his mind?