Richard Overfield | Women of Color
Oil & gold leaf on linen canvas | 1997
This painting has a gold leaf text in the border.
She would take no flak from women of color. She insisted she was not paternalistic. She insisted her point was simple & straightforward. No ultimatums, no manifestoes, just her opinions, straight up. She was telling no one to think in a particular way, nor how to behave, nor even to breathe. She was an artist, &, by definition, the meaning of her acts was up for grabs.
The text to this painting is taken from journal notes I made about a conversation I had with Jill Bullitt & By Lan Chong in my Holyoke Building studio at 1st & Spring Street in Seattle in 1977. It was about the social responsibilities of artists. Jill’s position, as I understood it, was that if you wanted to fight evil in the world, becoming a lawyer might be a better choice. By Lan’s position seemed to be that artists were free of responsibilities to clients & could address a wider range of issues with fewer restraints. My position was that artists are born boundary crossers whose lives were lived in defiance of evil by definition.