This print began as a sketch back in 2012, and I’ve been working on it here and there ever since. It evolved out of my general love of flags, banners, and pennants of all kinds, as well as my experimentation with the “language of the left.” On the one hand, this image can be read as a celebration of an active and engaged life: a valorization of the day-to-day things most of us engage in—from dreaming to thinking to learning. On the other, the density of pennants and shock of color leave the eye few places to settle, and the print captures some of that feeling we get when overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work we have ahead of us—and the need to engage starts to feel more like a set of exhortations and directives. For me, it’s this very tension that sits at the core of a socially-engaged life today.
Printed at the invite of Kristina Paabus at the Oberlin College print studio with the help of Ben Garbus, Megan Kenney, and Molly Sheffield.