BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
On August 4, 1961 Barack Hussein Obama was born to Ann Dunham, a white woman, and Barack Obama Sr, a Kenyan born economist. This union was considered illegal in America under Federal Anti-miscegenation Laws.
This is what Obama was born into. His very birth was rebellion.
It would have been easy for Barack to hide, to never stand out, to never push the envelope… but that is not what renegades do. That’s not the life this man chose to live. He would push himself… to be brash and risk the spotlight, despite the dangers and social pressures of the time uniquely placed upon young black men.
He fought to be great, racism be damned.
Amazingly, Barack Hussein Obama pushed himself higher than anyone would have ever expected. In 2008 he became our 44th president, one of the youngest ever.
Only an artist, born of a time similar to Obama, could understand how it feels to be a black man with a dream, during a time where people of a color were considered less than human. Only an artist like Grey Williamson could capture the regality, the strength, the defiance and the pure power of the human spirit that dwells in such a man like Barack Hussein Obama. Grey Williamson, self-taught and driven by a similar desire for greatness, used a resin polymer infused with stainless steel to construct his masterpiece.
It is an artist seeing a kindred spirit in a true American renegade that became the 44th president of the United States of America.
When ardent beliefs are found to be lies, what responsibility do the believers hold for the remediation of their impact on the world? When the actions of a father have damaged the innocent, is the son bound to the consequences of those deeds?
Must he do all he can to repay the debt?
Can we ever be free of the atrocities committed by the misguided actions of those who came before us?
Val-Mar seeks to answer this.
Val-Mar becomes the personification of the desire for freedom that’s forever chained to duty and honor.
Grey Williamson crafted this character and its subsequent bust with this internal struggle in mind. Expressing neither joy or sadness, or rage, this sculpture expresses a sense of struggle and the gritty determination of one striving forever forward.
Val-Mar will never stop searching for peace of mind, despite knowing he will never acquire that prize. He instead, presses on, taking comfort in the struggle, never surrendering.
Crafted by hand, Val-Mar was carved from iron infused resin.
Real Fathers do all they can to equip their sons with what is necessary to survive.
Sadly, so many societies are built upon the idea that human beings must adhere to gender specific rules of behavior. Men are taught to disregard the one thing that makes them human, their hearts.
Fathers that perpetuate this are not looking to hurt their male children… they want nothing more than for them to be strong and capable. Sadly, not all boys are built to thrive under this oppression. It makes them sick. It weakens their spirits.
For them, it creates a troubled being whose soul is in a perpetual struggle for freedom.
This is Apollo.
What Grey Williamson created here is the personification of the stripping away of humanity that can occur when a father desires to make his son powerful in an unhealthy society.
Much like Frankenstein’s monster, Apollo is scarred by an obsessive with power. Tragically, this obscene desire is formed through the limited viewpoint of an obscene society.
His flesh becomes his own prison.
In the sculpture Apollo’s unquenchable spirit breaks out from that form crafted to protect him. His spirit illuminates the eyes, it’s most human feature.
Apollo is the artist trapped by the world, striving to regain his lost humanity, struggling to be that which he was meant to be.
Grey Williamson has placed that humanity on display through his art. Apollo is both Grey’s art and his soul, crafted using aluminum suspended in an epoxy resin solution.
As a writer of fiction, my goal is to develop something meaningful and powerful, stemming from my soul and touching the lives of others in a positive way.
In both of my novels and even my short story, I sought to address many aspects of human nature. With each novel, I seek to understand the world outside as well as the world inside humanity, in the mind of the collective ‘us’.
I know it is not possible to understand each and everyone that compromises the 7.6 billion humans sharing this planet we call earth. It’s simply not possible to suss out all the whys of our collective deeds. What is possible, and beautiful, is the sharing of what we know right now with one another.
Therefore, my goal ultimately is to share, create discussion and to address what I am, with what you are, so we can have a better understanding of ‘us’. The better we can understand the ‘us’, the more compassion we’ll have for those that not like the individual ‘I’. With more compassion, I pray that we can build a better world for those that are here to move the species forward and upwards towards a better tomorrow for the animal we call human.
AIM, DESTROY, TRANSFORM: Play For Change: A group show of toys, games and figures at Medialia Gallery