Artist's Statements About Individual Works

Give me your tired, your poor (Bye-Bye, Bill of Rights)

Pastel, charcoal, and computer-set transfer type on paper • 22 x 30 • 2001

Inspired by a mid-1990s speech by William Kunstler concerning the erosion of the U.S. Bill of Rights. The title, from Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus,” is intended as an ironic element: it is the tired and poor who pay a disproportionate price when we are at war; it is the tired and poor whose rights are the first to be trampled when the eagle-turned-chicken even so much as anticipates a threat (witness the so-called Patriot Act and the movement to condone abusive interrogation tactics). The poem is laid out vertically across the page to symbolize prison bars; the words and letters run together … increasingly indecipherable… As Ira Glasser warned in 1997, “We should not give up our right to be let alone for the illusion of safety and security.”