CHARM CITY STATEMENT
20"x28" charcoal, gold leaf, acrylic and caution tape
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I am both a resident and voyeur of Baltimore City. My neighborhood, not fancy nor wealthy, has seen it's share of problems, however all of the houses on my street are occupied. Most are cared for. It is my privilege that has enabled me to remain distanced from the brutality of life for those living a very short distance away.
Like other poor US cities, Baltimore has an abundance of abandoned homes inhabited by squatters until the city can pay to tear them down. They are made more noticeable when red X signs are placed on there fronts to notify firefighters of there "vacancy", not to enter if there is a fire. In the neighborhoods adjacent to ours, these Xs are everywhere. They mark the death of a city filled where people still live. To ensure total ruin, even the dead trees have their X’s. Neon orange Xs tells the city to take them too.
Lining too many streets, the Xs make bold statements about our wildly unfair system. The Xs encroach on those too poor to leave. The city unwilling to care for these neighborhoods instead waits for total decay to then demolish neighborhoods and histories one block at a time. This work merges my concern for the people who have to live with the fall out of dirt and danger with the visual fascination of urban decay.
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