Night Vision #1 (2008)

In this piece I revisited the symbols of slave ship/middle passage and cotton as one starting point for the creation of U.S. imperial power. The initial inspiration for this painting came from Du bois’ Black Reconstruction in which he reorients and reclassifies the slave as the Black laborer, the foundation of Western modernity. Again, I have inserted Obama as a means of raising questions of progress. What will it mean for him to become the next figurehead of this empire?