I came across a startling provocative image: a painting of the American flag with lynched bodies dangling in the bleeding red stripes and people being gunned down between tattered stars. When I first saw the image my breath caught in my throat and I found myself unable to tear my gaze away from it. My mind started spinning from the thoughts the painting created and my grew heavy as I recalled the past year of publicly chronicled American tragedies. What is it called, I wondered, and who did this?
It took about a week before I could find any information about this painting. Finally an article surfaced on Grio.com that answered my questions. The article stated that Patrick Campbell was born and raised in Washington DC and had been an artist all of his life until he turned 14 and suffered a stroke that left him wheelchair bound and unable to write due to right side paralysis. After 2 months of intense therapy Patrick was able to draw with his left hand and, now, 10 years later he can walk. Patrick holds a BFA from California College of Art and practicing his art professionally.
In the aftermath of hearing about the savage murder of Eric Garner Patrick took to his canvas and began creating. Patrick stated that after he finished the piece he stood back and asked “What have I done?” He had awestruck himself and said “This is the a piece of mine that I will say is powerful and I rarely say that with any of my pieces. It made me cry.”
Patrick’s painting, The New Age of Slavery, has gone viral across the internet and people are declaring it a symbol of the movement for resistance and change in America.
The web and social media can become inundated with images and they get altered, memed, and screenshot so much that after a while no one knows where they actually originated. I wanted to add a post dedicated specifically to this talented man whose work is so moving and poignant and deserving of correctly attributing credit.
Big ups to Patrick Campbell.
Purchase Campbell’s work here.
An Angry Black Man