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Artist’s Note (March 2012): When I took on the subject of accessing healthcare as my focus of “social inquiry,” I did not see the big picture. I was learning with every portrait. Over four years into the project, I see how the implications of a person’s health insurance status fits so neatly into this puzzle of how the for-profit industry has backed the American public into a corner. (My point is not to vilify business here. Simply, certain lopsided for-profit market forces can be identified in the lives of real people who experience great difficulties accessing healthcare or managing claims.) I will from time to time comment on those puzzle pieces that are real lives as they relate to the whole. I will include in the “artist’s notes” under some portraits, the observations gleaned from over four years of interviews and portraits about how we access healthcare in the US.
A LINK to PHOTO JOURNAL of my time in front of the US SUPREME COURT & CAPITOL in Washington DC. I exercised my First Amendment right of free speech by “standing” with PORTRAITS and SIGNS to confront our representatives with the realities so many in this project face.
This is a series of what will be 100-plus paintings depicting a cross-section of Americans. The titles of the paintings designate the kind of health insurance coverage or lack of coverage the sitters have. The goal is to paint a picture of the American health care system in the faces of our country’s citizens from the very best health coverage to the most horrific of circumstances resulting from a person’s lack of coverage. Who are we when it comes to health care? Let’s not be afraid to look at real people and be touched by their experiences – from the best to the worst – as we navigate this very big issue. There is no agenda but to ask, “What’s your experience? What are your thoughts on the subject?”
Share your stories. Have an opinion? Let’s hear it.