There Will Always Be Poor People uses two photographs taken by Dorothea Lange which can be seen here. Both photographs are used almost in their entirety, which is unusual for my digital composites, but both photographs are also quite minimalistic. The title of the piece refers to a comment made by Rep. Roger Marshall, a Republican and doctor from Kansas who quoted Jesus as justification against Medicaid expansion. So, yeah – Republicans, Jesus, Dorothea Lange, migrants, the Dust Bowl, water protectors – it was all a boiling concoction in my brain. Yes, there will always be some people who have less money than others but why are those with less not allowed respect, water, dignity, life, liberty … How do some people believe that ownership of luxuries (like fast, red cars) proves moral superiority and ultimately justification for denying others basic necessities?
But back to the image … A car and a water barrel are also photographic elements whereas the background and design motif at the horizon line are from software. The speed blur effect was added with software as well. I tried a couple of different ways of making the water barrel be more easily identified as water but adding those identifiers confused the overall image. Ultimately, I decided the blue set against an arid reddish brown background would ‘read’ instinctively for most people as water. The car, as already mentioned, is privilege – it is someone just passing through and the speed blur throughout the whole image indicates that the viewer, too, is in a fast car speeding through the landscape.