Children are the masterpieces of the universe. Our plan is to continue documenting with artwork the growth of child(ren) to and even through their adulthood. This chronicled body of work will continue to reveal much about the world in which we live, through a lense some of us often forget.
As we communicate this with the great myriad of people with whom we interact about public spaces, we experience tremendous joy in the liberation people feel from the art. We also do not receive these warm welcomes every time.
In a recent conversation, the owner of the wall listened to us as we told of our body of work documenting childhood. Immediately upon seeing the body of work, they said, “No! That child looks like an African-American. You are not going to paint that on my wall.”
Though this is not the first time we have been told to "avoid race, and politics" by property owners, the ferocity and transparency of this individual ushered us into a new element in our art exploration. Maybe without their knowing it, they have co-created with us and not-so-gracefully nudged us in the direction we needed to go - out of neutrality. As artists, and especially since we place art so publicly, it is our responsibility to push comfort zones. If you see our art and you are completely at ease, we have done you a disservice. With growth comes discomfort.
Someone once told us they don't have a problem with people consuming cannabis now that it is legal to do so in Colorado. We found this a curious statement given the history, past and present, local and around the globe of unfathomable laws by which the populace has abided, and thought about the value each of us places on being a law-abiding citizen. All of us are, at any given moment, living in accordance to a set of laws that we may not have played an active role in establishing, however it is on us to adhere to such laws, so long as we accept them, willfully or passively. Our neutrality is our abidance.
Whether we agree or disagree with a law, be it formal government or informal social, our action communicates our belief about the law. If we are neutral, or comply with a law in which we do not believe, that action re-enforces the beliefs which created the law, thereby adding strength to it. Our responsibility as citizens, and public artists, is to actively participate in that which we want to create and sustain for our community; all people do so every day whether we realize it or not. If we decide to participate through compliance with laws we feel are unjust, we are acting in defiance of that which makes us who we are, and thereby stealing from future generations the opportunity to benefit from our contribution.
Famed peace allower, Dr. Jane Goodall (janegoodall.org) says that through the decisions we make, we all make a difference every day; that every decision has a consequence. Wanting to be intentional in the kind of difference we make in the community through our art, our question was, "what kind of a difference will we make with this/that decision and the resulting actions?” The answer was that no law made by people has more value or demands more respect and adherence than the laws of the Universe/God, and that any and all good to be created for future generations will be, above all else, gracefully aligned with the laws of the highest power.
Many of us have come into contact with the idea that we are borrowing the earth from our children. Dr. Goodall prefers to say we are stealing from our children, when we take from the earth more than we give. We thought it necessary to explore further the depth and breadth of this idea. The meaning we find is that what we do not add to disappears. However, by multiplying the value or prevalence of something, through our participation, we ensure its inevitability.
We feel strongly that our adherence to what we perceive as an unjust law would add justification to that very law, effectively increasing its value and prevalence, and that was simply an unacceptable example to set for our child(ren); a robbery. This is the picture of the mural we painted two days ago of the very child on the very wall where we were told the child was not allowed to be painted because of their genetic make-up. The painting is located at Downing Street two blocks south of the 30th/Downing train station. If you would like to see it, make it over there quick, for there is no telling what will happen to it.
We hope people understand that there are certain discomforts we have to shoulder so that the next generation and so on, will have less and less of this type of struggle, and more and more love and appreciation amongst themselves. It keeps getting better and better, so long as each generation is willing to do their part
And lastly, to the owner of the wall, everyone who shares your sentiment, everyone who is feeling neutral about it, everyone who cannot imagine ever sharing that sentiment, and most of all to all the pristine beautiful children creators in our local and global community we love you.
We will not hide in the shadows seeking our own personal comfort. We will not justify and ensure the inevitability of unjust laws, be they formal or informal. We will not deceive ourselves into thinking that our neutrality will serve future generations with good. We will be proud of who we are in this world. And we will teach the next generation through our action to have strength of purpose, and dedication to communicate with the world honestly about who they are.
Be You Be Here Be Now Be Love