The year after I made the Lady Liberty image, I decided to explore political fine art photography.
I spend most Christmases in Washington, D.C., always an opportunity to make photographs of people outside the White House, albeit a limited opportunity to explore what constitutes political art. The president and Congress are out of town, but the White House visitors are still there.
I would call the series George Bush’s America.
Does a family, where the woman is wearing a Muslim hijab or headscarf, making a portrait in front constitute political art?
Or, how about the fact that the guy with camera is wearing shorts the day after Christmas constitute political art, referring to climate change? How about the juxtaposition of the hijab and the shorts?
There’s nothing sinister about the image. It’s a family, probably an American family, making a portrait in front of the White House.
What about the Anti-nuclear woman. She has been living in a plastic igloo outside the White House since 1981 when Ronald Reagan was president?
What about combining women with the hijab and the Anti-nuclear Lady?
None of these images are satisfying. None have the power of the Statue of Liberty.
I made several post-Christmas trips to the White House. Each time the images I made were unsatisfactory.
All depend on symbolism. The Statue of Liberty image works without all that verbage.