Public pressure is always required for anything to change. So what’s missing from the equation, really, is you.
The cartoonish figures march to demand government support for employment and to celebrate LGBTQ+ identity. Their bodies are stiff, detached; they’ve done this before. Yet they smile. Self-taught artist and political activist Michael Patterson-Carver explains, “In order to succeed at anything the first step you must take is to BELIEVE. This is the reason that everyone in my demonstration scenes is smiling—they are confident of success.”
Patterson-Carver grew up in Chicago during the 1960s civil rights movement, which was formative in his political views. Injustices of all kinds—racial, social, environmental—become subjects for his work. Even if the world has not always pivoted on the side of justice, he reminds us to protest with peaceful optimism.
From the exhibition: Give a damn. (June 30 – September 30, 2018)