Waiting for Equality is a minimally altered digital composite. Even the title was only minimally changed as the original photograph by a Mrs. W.M. Gatch was called ‘Waiting for the Train.’ I do not have a lot of information about the photographer although she was included in a 1951 exhibit at MoMA of Forgotten Photographers with 3 photographs from 1893 the same year this picture was taken.
The piece consists of just 2 elements – the mahogany colored photograph of a young boy and girl at a train station and an abstract painting executed on canvas paper with acrylic paint. I had a copy of the photograph for some time without paying much attention to it although, obviously, I considered it an interesting composition when I first ‘discovered’ it in the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. The abstract was also an offhand piece. I frequently work several paintings on paper at the same time and typically they are similar to one another in some way. So I might have 4-8 different pieces that are united in color or method and by the end, hopefully, I have one that is well … the one. This abstract, however, had a mirror twin and the two were radically different than the all other pieces I was working on at the time. Neither were the one but I liked them and kept them around. It was by chance that I noticed the reddish hue of the photograph was very close in shade to the dark stripe on the abstract and once I made that connection I decided to oriented the abstract vertically (whereas previously I imagined it’s orientation to be horizontal) to represent the passing of time.