An Artist Looks at Social Injustice - Sees humanity - try it at home
When an artist approaches a blank space to do a portrait, color of skin is not always the first thing they focus on; they notice it because it is their craft. The points of interest are the eyes (the windows of the soul) and the lines that form the roadmap to the character. There are lines, shadows and creases where smiles have been; where suffering has been; lines of love and lines of hate. A portrait can be created to represent a likeness (what we want the world to see) or a truth (what we are).
A famous Dutch artist once painted a portrait of a man of means and when it was displayed, the viewers thought it was great - but the subject demanded that it be taken out of view because when he saw it, he saw the face of a thief (which he was). Did the artist know? Did the viewers know? The subject knew and he was frantic that people who gazed on his countenance would see what he saw. Such is the power of our faces in the world.
Looking at the events of the day, we can see faces of suffering, the faces of hatred, the faces of frustration, the faces of people who don't know what to do about any of it and the faces of people who turn away. We see the faces of people lending a helping hand, faces of violence, faces of hope for change that brings goodness to the world and faces of those who will never change. Interesting that our hearts are all the same color under the skin. We see a lot of talking faces, but not a lot of faces talking to the person next to them offering help. Those faces are not getting a lot of press but they are out there, fortunately; and we need more.
Our actions and deeds form our faces as much as our nature. Are you complaining, or are you offering a meal to a needy person or family? Are you complaining about injustice or are you offering a laptop or iPad to a needy student relegated to study on his own at home due to a virus he had no part in manufacturing? Are you helping a veteran's family because the ultimate sacrifice was made so that we could legally protest injustice? Are you working to change laws that need to be updated and made more just? Are you doing anything to help turn the chaos into order and a better life for humanity? Pain is real; suffering is optional.
We all have the power to do something; change begins with our own hearts and minds. We need to face the bad in the world and change our own behaviors. What have you done for positive change?
What would a portrait artist show in a painting of you?
Your real heart is showing on your face.