People Have the Power (2017-2019)
digital collage printed and hand-colored on paper
10 x 13 in.
I came of age in the sixties when protest signs spoke truth to power. They still do. This sign is speaking to a world that needs redemption and health for children and living creatures more than ever. The signs are being held by my “Painted People” – former Barbies, Kens, and GI Joes whose original identities, so caught up in the shallow ideals and codes of our consumer culture, are subverted as they are transformed in my Brooklyn studio via gesso and paint. Painted in abstract expressionist drips in a Mondrian red, blue and yellow palette, they have become a counter-culture of characters with a cadre of companion animals who travel near and far on vision quests both real and virtual. The Painted People revel in revealing truths on multiple levels, whether they are exploring the wonders of space, trekking through a night city filled with the waters of change. In this case, they wear the pink pussy hats of feminist power and carry vital messages for our time, hoping that people will finally see the truth and act.
Painted People photo essays were published in ‘The Adirondack Review’ and ‘#thesideshow/Five 2 One.’ Recently the Painted People and I had a one-person show at Brooklyn’s Five Myles Gallery, and an experimental short film was screened at the Greenpoint and NYC Indie Film Festivals. Also they took part in a play at the 13th Street Repertory Theater in Manhattan. I currently divide my time between Brooklyn, NY and Madison, WI.
© Jeanne Wilkinson