I was inspired to create this work while following the historic campaign of President Barack Obama. I imagine there will be family scenes of this type in the years to come for the Obama family.
With the many challenges facing the country, there will be much to accomplish from his first day in office. I hope that after a long day of working with his staff on behalf of the country, that he does have the type of family moment depicted here.
“Formula 44” was completed in July 2008, and displayed it at the Columbus College of Art and Design’s Biennial Faculty Art Exhibit. Obama was still not the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party at this time. He was running a fierce race with Hillary Clinton, and she was showing no sign of backing down.
My feeling was that with the campaign Obama was running that he had an unmatched ability to ignite a new generation of people that had never thought twice to vote or even get involved in politics in the past.
From media reports, I watched the people respond to what he was saying and what his ideas meant to them. It wasn’t because he could be the next black President but that he represented a connection to a generation of voters of all races, and ethnicity that no other President in history has been able to do, and that to me is leadership.
I felt this was the perfect time for me to create this artwork. It started as a pen and ink sketch playing with the idea of seeing Obama seated behind the desk in the Oval Office with his family. President John F. Kennedy invited the public to connect with his family against Jacquelyn’s wishes through various photo opportunities.
I was inspired by the Kennedy’s, and the historical connection that the Obama family has to the Kennedy legacy.I am an artist, and it is my wish to record the history of the times, and “Formula 44” is my contribution to the documentation of Obama’s presidency. It is significantly important to me to make this statement and hopefully history will find it worthy.
"Formula 44" is featured in The Columbus Dispatch, 06/14/09
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