“Help Wasted” (2015)
The artwork is titled Help Wasted, interpreted in sign language as HELP NOTHING. This artwork depicts my Deaf upbringing and many other Deaf individuals growing up with hearing parents and hearing teachers as their supposedly role models. In the artwork, represented here are two individuals; the one standing behind a Deaf individual may be a teacher posting in an egoistic manner overshadowing the Deaf individual in the front. Posing in a manner that this hearing individual may manipulates power that he/she is all knowing in Deaf culture and possibility controls the reins of this Deaf individual. Bringing this to question what is the message of this expression and color? Let’s look at the hearing individual with a gloved hand in golden color. This represents that this individual is seeking monetary gains based on their advantages of ‘knowing’ how to use sign language but does not help to give their child purpose. The individual in front is a representative of a familiar experience that many Deaf individuals have been through; with its ‘smiling face and forced hand to conform’. Here, a Deaf child unknowing and unsure of himself while trying to conform the ways of the hearing individuals and for them to capitalized on their Deaf child; hence the ‘same faces and white glove’ represented the lack of respect no reflection (no color) to enhance the Deaf child’s well-being. As noted on the ‘hitchhike’ hand of the Deaf individual of a turquoise color. (Sign TURQUOISE derived from France) Turquoise glove represents the live-hood of the Deaf Community and culture that is to be embraced and protected while one is on a journey to be their Deaf self. With this message; during a Deaf child’s journey about finding one selves while being wedged in two worlds; of the submission of the hearing world without benefit or opportunities of empowerment in their own.
Digital Art and Gel on stretched canvas, 24″ x 24″
This artwork is based on my Deaf Childhood experiences.