Painted by Wilfred E. Sieg III on a boarded up storefront in support of the social justice movement - June 2020 LOUISVILLE KY
Since the beginning of the protests, I’ve been living in the middle of it all. After the first night of vandalism & looting, widespread property damage occurred throughout the downtown area. Windows were broken & graffiti was painted on a large number of buildings. I watched as the protesters took to the streets and marched down broadway. When I woke the next morning I drove around the city & saw the devastation that occurred. That next day numerous properties were being boarded up to protect what was left. On June 1st, a local business owner, David Ya Ya McAtee was shot & killed on 26th & Broadway. This resulted in higher tensions & more properties being boarded up, including 802 East Broadway. After driving around and seeing all these boarded up facades I decided it was an opportunity to say something & show support for the cause. On Saturday, June 6th I painted what you see today. I believe the piece says it all. I chose to use black & white to symbolize the racial tension & create starkness. Lady Liberty buries her head in her tatted hand as tears roll down her arm. She drops her beacon to the ground as smoke rises to hold the scales of justice. The extinguished torch symbolizes enlightenment without light, unable to see the way to freedom & equality. The uneven scales of justice hold a mangled black man & a smoking gun. This symbolizes the violent injustices occurring between African Americans & police. The smoke from the gun shows clear evidence for justice. The black man is dropping the symbol for oxygen on the periodic table, referencing the last words of George Floyd, I can’t breathe. Oddly enough, oxygen is number 8 on the periodic table. Floyd died from the officer's knee in just over 8 minutes. There is also an American flag in the background. The 4 black stars symbolizing African Americans being a minority & the feeling of not being whole, the feeling of being outnumbered & broken. This also symbolizes America’s dark past, from the genocide of the Native Americans to the enslavement of Africans. Rest in peace to Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, David Mcatee & all the lives lost up to this point. WE ARE THE PEOPLE of the United States & together we can create the change.
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