Gilbert Young, Liberty, Mixed media – graphite, acrylic, and printed document
Postcard size is 5.5″ x 8.5″ color printed on vellum paper. Back includes artist information and exhibition title.
I’ve been an artist since the age of 6. This year I will be 79. I’ve had the honor of depicting African American people in their glory—for history, for our legacy, for our children—so that we remember who we are when we are at our best. I want my work to be inspirational depictions of us as a great people, but I also work to capture our trials and tribulations. To me, that’s what art should be, a visual documentation of our existence. Perhaps, Nina Simone said it best, “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” As an artist, I hope I’ve done that in my lifetime.
My piece “Liberty” ©2019 is part of a series I’m calling “As I See It: A Re-envisioning of Masterworks.” It’s a tribute to Michelangelo’s “Pieta”. The piece speaks to the loss of our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in this country. For those who don’t know, the original model for the Statue of Liberty was a black woman holding a lantern and broken chains, commissioned by abolitionists. My “Jesus” has a Black Lives Matter tattoo on his arm.
– Gilbert Young – Conservator, Curator/University of Cincinnati Fine Art Collection, Retired Artist in Residence, Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta Artist in Residence, Bill Traylor Family, Inc., Atlanta