Stars, Bars, and Targets was created for and posted to an artist’s group a couple of months ago (to see more of all of the artwork posted by group members visit the Instagram page or follow on Twitter.)
The flag imagery is straight forward – I’ve used the white bars to symbolize jail bars, institutionalized racism, and white people. The targets are to indicate that both black people and the very fabric of our nation (freedom, equality, and justice for all*) are under attack by the authoritarian and racist forces within our government. All 3 of the titled elements are rendered in patriotic colors and were created and combined by both analog and digital means. Notice the red “bleed” from the smallest target into the black bordering the left side. The black border, framing the left and bottom of the image, lies both under and over many of the elements but leads to the image of a black man. The well-dressed and mature man, named John Crump, is shown in profile. The original black and white photograph taken by Eli Reed in 1992 can be viewed here and I believe that this is the bio page of this specific John Crump. I used Photoshop effects to darken the image of the gentleman to provide sharper contrast and I took particular care to isolate his facial features because of his stoic and determined expression.
*This does not mean I believe that the United States of America has/had achieved freedom, equality, and justice for all but rather these concepts are part of the the goal set forth by the framers of our country which we should be striving to reach.