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Dixie Icons

Archival digital print on acid free enhanced matte photo paper

16 x 20," Edition of 25, 2011

Casey Sullivan, curator of Fire House Gallery in Louisville, GA, invited artists to participate in the exhibition, "Dixie Icons." We were asked to riff off of illustrations of the Old South from the book, "Dreaming of Dixie" by Karen Cox.

In pressed trousers and crisp blue shirt and while standing in front of an American flag at a 2009 Saturday breakfast of the Cherokee County GOP, then U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal referred to the "complaints of the ghetto grandmothers" as he discussed new citizenship regulations. Deal would apologize for this statement the following week, and go on to become the 82nd and current Governor of Georgia. His racist agenda would continue to thrive, as the "birther" champion promoted hr 1868 and hb 87, the 14th-amendment-smashing bills beloved by the ultra right wing American Legislative Exchange Council, the Ku Klux Klan and the Corrections Corporation of America. Under Nathan Deal's watch, Georgia has joined the heartless ranks of Arizona, South Carolina and other states in its pursuit of aggressive anti-immigration legislation.

It became important with this piece to show the historical continuation of deep-seated attitudes of white privilege, condescending superiority and cynical "patriotism" at the horrific expense of the disenfranchised and the marginalized. Form, font and color needed to be indistinguishable from the original, at first glance and at the level of individual pixels. A cold, dispassionate replication of Harry Von Tilzer's "Masterpiece" could reflect the Deal mindset and express how little progress we've made here at home.

So caring...

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