CLEON PETERSON - FREEDOM / PROSPERITY AT ANY PRICE (BLACK) COVID 19
Hand pulled 18 x 24” black and red screen print. Printed on 290gsm Arches Rag paper with deckled edges. Each print is signed and numbered. Limited edition of 125.
Every day Trump rallies his political partners and base to ignore the threat of Covid. Not only refusing the commonsense advice of his own administration's public health professionals, he has actively recast their scientific guidance as an attack on his followers’ personal freedoms. He does so for two reasons: to deny and diminish his blatant mismanagement of the pandemic; and to postpone the economic fallout from his handling of the pandemic until after the election, at the expense of creating a much more dangerous situation for us all. The motives underlying his actions and messaging couldn't be more self-interested or unpresidential.
Summoning fear to benefit special interests is nothing new — especially around the subjects of guns, trade, immigration and health. It also underlies the urgent conversations we are currently having around race, authority and policing. However, under our present administration the concept of freedom is being perverted to an unprecedented degree, refashioned as an instrument to exacerbate political divides. If one person's freedom comes at the expense of another's safety and liberty, there is a problem. Recent events have made it blaringly evident that the consequences of this irresponsibility can literally mean the difference between life and death.
Never before has the productive been entangled so closely with the destructive. While these social times are extremely complicated, certain rights and wrongs remain clear. I empathize with the social, economic and collective hardships that we all face, which is also not to say I am able to speak for everyone. We all want to get back to our jobs, our families and our friends, but it's crucial to be responsible towards each other in doing so.