Photography by Don Casper
This is one artist’s work: one statement, one opinion. Art speaks to the observer, and engages one into an interaction with what the individual brings to the work and what the work represents to him or her.
I typically refrain from specific explanations of my work; however, this is an exception due to the subject matter. Our community (local, national, cultural and racial) continues to struggle, and our losses (on many levels) continue to grow. This is the first in a series and is the culmination of working and re-working the details and components as events continue to unfold.
The Pawns and Pieces
At first glance, the chess set appears uniform; however, each pawn, piece and king are not exactly alike as are the individuals they represent despite the roles they play. No one is perfect or is exactly as they appear in their public role.
The pieces (major, minor, king) represent public figures and individuals in positions of power. They are unmarked, as the players change through time and place, although there is a small pile of nameplates of public figures who have recently been the focus of attention and may be again in the future. The pawns (the protestors and law enforcement) remain consistent, regardless of time and place, as does the continued struggle for equality, respect, and responsibility.
The line of black pawns in the start position is where we begin: on the left with “Black Lives Matter” and, in the hope that, through all of this, we end where the line of pawns ends, knowing that “All Lives Matter”; however, where we end up completely depends upon how each player chooses to move.
The Chess Board
Our society lives on the foundation of cities and communities. The media has a significant role in bringing the events occurring in different cities to our attention which also heightens our reactions. The configuration of the base changes as more incidents occur. While each act of violence, each bullet-hole, brings the issues in a specific city to light; it is another blow that further deteriorates the foundation of our community, our society. If our collective actions (passive or active) continue on this path, this foundation, the chessboard, will continue to weaken and deteriorate until it collapses.
It’s your choice. It’s your move.
Sterling silver, porcelain, Bullseye glass, acrylic
CHECKMATE: SERIES I - PROTOTYPE