This painting is what it feels like trying to make peace with what the United States of America has become with Donald Trump in charge. We are clowns on the world stage. The rich, white-supremacist segment of our country is displaying its power unrestrained, and is picking away at freedom and liberty and any of the virtues that progressive or non-racist Americans held.
Destroying land and people’s lives, like vultures* they swoop in and grab whatever they can. Indifferent to any humanitarian crisis, they’ve gone so low as to take children from parents seeking asylum, prosecuting the parents for a federal crime (it’s not a crime to seek asylum.) They lock children in cages in concentration camps (now with parents thanks to a public outcry last week but that too shall deteriorate) to use them as a bargaining chips to threaten other immigrants (in their eyes, anyone who is non-white) and to acquire more money- not even to help the people of our country, but to help themselves- and to build useless walls. No clean water for Michigan, no hurricane relief for Puerto Rico, but billions of dollars FOR A WALL, is what is demanded. The separation of rich and poor becomes more and more extreme as the racist, white-supremacist section of our culture does all in its power (which is vast) to further separate itself.
Our current government, which potentially gained power in an illegitimate way, continues to change laws that allow only them to become richer while abandoning allies and consolidating power, shockingly (to any decent folks) improving relationships with tyrants and dictators. We dropped out of the UN Human Rights Council as I was painting this. How can one keep children in cages and be on a human rights council anyway? We are now more like the early stages of Nazi Germany than we are like the “land of the free” I believed us to be. I was wrong. From an intellectual, humanitarian standpoint, it’s terrifying. The president has lied to the people and to the world thousands of times. Nothing he says should be trusted. It’s all an act. We are witness to a dark dance with no signs of of a happy ending. The rich get richer. The poor will be killed. Beware the vultures.
*Side note, actual vultures are pretty cool and Trump is also threatening them by removing protected lands and all environmental protections.
This painting was also inspired by the Plague Doctors of the 16th century. Google that term for more info.