There's a Lesson in This, 24 by 48 by 1.5 inches, oil on canvas, gallery wrap. Completed July 2023.
"It is only when you see people being ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them." --Agatha Christie
It's been eleven years since I participated in my last short term mission trip to Haiti. They hated us. Its taken a while to come to an understanding about that trip, and this painting is the result. As the painting progressed, it revealed at least four layers of truth. Namely, on a superficial level who wouldn't despise a group of pampered, overdressed, structurally arrogant blancs who think you don't know how to brush your teeth? Digging a little deeper, Haitians are as informed by their revolution as Americans are by theirs. The Haitian Revolution lasted 13 years with them fighting off not just the British but the Spaniards and French to finally win their freedom. Their leader was betrayed and died in a French prison. Ours became the first president. Nevertheless, the Haitian revolution remains the only successful slave revolt in recorded history, and I believe for that reason all developed countries have a continued vested psychological interest in keeping Haiti down. Finally, when all of that horrific history is set in the context of an absurd tooth brushing lesson, it actually turns humorous--on both sides. I'm so glad the painting took that turn.