Sunday, December 1, 2013

Post Square 12.01.13 ~ The Green Lizard

The first day of my project ~ a drawing (or maybe collage) a day for the month of December, collected into an exhibit at the Fire Hall Gallery in Charles Town, WV, opening January 5th, 2014.

I’m taking my inspiration for each piece from the daily cover photo and story of the Washington Post. And I’ll (do my best to) write a brief synopsis of the story.

Today I had a clear and preconceived idea of how I wanted to start, based on the “warm-up exercises” I’d been doing these past few days…then I saw the cover photo ~ a man lying on the ground in front of a store in Puerto Rico. Instead of a collage, I went back to how I started these “Post Square” pieces ~ the 1” detail turned into a composition.

I was moving my 1” square cut out over the surface of the photo to find what part of it I wanted to use when I discovered the object under the sleeping man’s arm. What looked, at first, like a bottle in a green bag was actually a lizard, not quite ¾” tall in the picture.

I left the elbow and part of the shirt and jeans of the man black and white and the top section a strong compliment so that the green lizard could stand out. I was going for bold and graphic.

The story that goes with this image is complicated. It’s about Puerto Rico’s faltering economy.

A very brief and limited synopsis…

Puerto Rico is suffering from a staggering list of problems ~ huge debt, high unemployment, many people on food stamps and disability, a homicide rate nearly six times higher than the U.S. average, a housing bust, bank failures and, understandably, a fleeing population.

A large percentage of the municipal bond mutual funds on the mainland hold Puerto Rican bonds because of their high, tax-free yield. These bonds are what the Puerto Rican government now needs to borrow from to pay for the costs of daily operations like utilities and highway maintenance. This isn’t good.

The problems in Puerto Rico are not just Puerto Rico’s problems.

A haiku …

Night on the island
green lizard watches over
man without a home

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