I have avoided political fine art photography.
First, it is hard.
Second, it has a limited shelf life.
But, George W. Bush’s presidency has led me to dip my toe in with caution.
It started four years ago, in May 2004 in Italy, when I found a man posing as the Statue of Liberty in the Piazza di Navona in Rome.
I made a photograph and left a few Euros in the statue’s paint can. He bowed his head ever so slightly in thanks.
The following fall my art gallery in St. Louis celebrated its 20th anniversary and invited each artist to submit an original work for the exhibition. The only requirement was that each work incorporate the number “20” in the work.
I loved the Statue of Liberty image and wanted to use it and needed to find a way to incorporate “20” into the work.
I began looking into the history of the Statue after 2001 and incorporated the following in the photograph:
2001, September 11: Liberty Island close in response to terrorist attack at the World Trade Center.
2001, December 20: Liberty Island reopens to the public. Stutue remains closed due to continuing security concerns.
2004, May 20: Lady Liberty is found 20 steps into the Piazza Navona in Rome.
2004, August 3: Lady Liberty’s pedestal reopens. The Statue remains closed due to continuing security concerns.
As of December 15, 2008, the Statue remains closed to visitors. Visitors wishing to enter the museum and pedestal must have passes and be screened twice, once at the ferry to the island and then on the island.
A retired politician from Missouri purchased the image for his law office.