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For Sale Pen and Ink

Hands Across America

This piece was created as part of my preparation for my exhibit with Michelle Carlson at the 20 North Gallery. It’s part of a set (along with Giant Sucking Sound) that’s designed to draw attention to the crushing long-term effects that free trade has had on blue-collar workers in the US: manufacturing work moving overseas has led to chronic underemployment and unemployment in the rust belt, which in turn has led to despair, disability, and drug abuse. This is reflected in the working hand, the idle hands, and the handful of pills.

As far as the technical aspects go, I’m thrilled that my ability to draw hands (which are notoriously difficult) seems to be getting better: I can see there’s plenty of room for improvement, but I’m happy with how these came out. The other elements in this piece also turned out reasonably well, and I like how the more whimsical elements, such as the distorted face and the striped-vs-spotted monsters facing off around the clawed leg, bring a bit of balance to the heavy subject matter.

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