The Coming, 2017

The Coming, 2017 is an oil painting by American artist Ronald Hall. The work was part of our opening group exhibition Young Dreams.

At first glance, many viewers’ interpretation directly went to a depiction of recent events (the Covid-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd) only to be surprised by the date of the painting’s creation.

Here, the artist sheds a bit more light on the story behind his work:

 

The Coming was more specifically and partially inspired by the tragic death of Eric Garner, by the hands of police brutality in New York City in 2014.

 

The large male figure towards the bottom right in the painting was borrowed from a famous civil rights photograph taken in 1962 by photographer Danny Lyon, the photograph depicts a group of young black youth participating in a kneeling prayer protest in a segregated swimming pool in Cairo Illinois.

 

The female figure on the bottom left of the painting was borrowed from a more recent photo of a staged “lie-in protest” by a group of Black Lives Matter activists, who at the time, were protesting against police brutality, sparked by the death of Eric Garner in 2014.

 

The image in the top left corner of the painting is of course of Donald Trump. His mouth is covered with a sign that is worn by a Black Lives Matter protester, borrowed from that photo and placed over the mouth of Trump. The mask over Trump’s mouth is meant to be a “tongue in cheek”, humorous depiction of Trump’s defiance against the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Ronald Hall

 

 

 

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