Which People?
2014—12 + 2018—02,12
New York, NY + Denver, CO

Aerosol and letterpress on handmade Indian hemp paper
17 x 22 in, 45 x 57 cm 

For a while I became somewhat fixated on John Trumbull’s 1776 painting, Declaration of Independencethe faces depicted, the body language, the clothes, all white men of considerable affluence.

Most prominent in the painting, of course, is the Committee of Five (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) as they hand the declaration to John Hancock.  

I sought to eliminate everything in the painting save for the Committee of Five, and recreate their depiction using fairly simple lineart, which I then had transformed into a letterpress printing plate. Overlayed is another letterpress plate, a recreation of “We the People” exactly as it appeared in the original declaration. 

Letterpressing the image and inscription on handmade hemp paper gives it a olden quality associated with the printed matter of a bygone era. The text added later in stenciled aerosol (a mere translation of “We the People” in other languages) comes to denote a modern era [possibly unsanctioned] addition. 

Scope Art Fair — New York, 2018