(Abdul Badi’s artwork and the following explanation of his painting “Lazarus Come Forth. At the end is information on visiting his Facebook page and joining his mailing list.)
A BIG THANK YOU to all those who shared their very perceptive and insightful comments and interpretations of my painting “Lazarus Come Forth” this past weekend. I tried my best to answer everyone personally but the response was overwhelming. If I missed you, it was not intentional. I value, respect and appreciate all
The varied views and opinions that were presented.
As promised, here is my motive and meaning of the painting and its’ main components:
As it turned out, the painting can be interpreted broadly on different levels physical, mental, spiritual etc. depending on the mindset of the viewer. What I intended to do from the outset was
to say something real about the condition of the African American, not in a negative overly critical way (I am African American) but in a way that gets those of us who don’t normally have this discussion, talking and more importantly, THINKING. I’ll try to be as concise as possible. So let’s begin.
The room represents the unique institution of slavery that we were placed in from its’ inception on up to the present day.
The individual in the painting represents us today as a group here in the U.S. The dejected pose is a metaphor for our mental, moral, spiritual and economic condition.
The wall represents institutional Racism and all its’ varied components from Jim Crow to “The War on Drugs” and other laws shrewdly designed to keep us enslaved. (I could go on and on).
The floor is dry and barren and represents our
economic life. No businesses of our own in our communities. No means of sustaining ourselves.
If outsiders didn’t provide us with basic necessities we’d be lost.
The landscape is lush and green and represents
The fertile rich world of opportunity out there waiting to be tilled and cultivated and used for our benefit.
THE SKY AND THE ANCESTORS
Represents all of our great ancestors who endured unspeakable horrors and abuse and even the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be in a better situation.
His feet are not chained he is not physically locked in the room he can leave anytime he wants but he
The hands, those most useful appendages for
constructing the necessities of life are just hanging limp and lifeless not being used.
The battered down door represents the fruit of the hard struggles of or predecessors to free us.
THE CRACK IN THE WALL AND MISSING BRICK
These represent our predecessor’s efforts at tearing down institutional racism that still exists
The chain represents the psychological effects of hundreds of years intense pressure being placed on us from every quarter to destroy our humanity and reduce us to the level of beasts. (The Willie Lynch story, true or false, is a good description of what has been done to us)
The lock represents all the tools such as the mass media and a corrupt educational system from pre-K to PhD that fill our minds with distractions, half-truths and outright lies to give us a false view of reality.
The BOOK stands for TRUTH or correct knowledge rooted in reality.
The key represents the sound wisdom and understanding gained from the study of correct knowledge that is needed to unravel the knot of
Ignorance and lies that has us still mentally enslaved while we’re physically free.
The light shows that the path has already been lit. We just need to follow it.
I could elaborate much further but that would take a book. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll leave it there.
Anyone interested can still visit my page for info on how to get a free (hand signed) lithograph of “Lazarus”. https://www.facebook.com/ArtofAbdulBadi/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel also please join my mailing list at artofabdulbadi.com
(End of Abdul Badi’s explanation)
The people of African descent whose ancestors were brought to the so-called “New World,” in chains; are suffering in 2016, because we refuse to analyze our history and our present day behaviour.
We want to be treated better by other races, but we refuse to make positive changes to our own beliefs and lifestyle.
(visit and read)