Now is the development whereby I am getting a lot of African American young men. "Trayvon's brothers" appear on a daily basis. A few of them are here in this group. How can one painter keep up?
However, with at least one article coming out in a small paper, Word on the Street, and an interview I"ll be doing for a possible article in the Sun, I have a feeling in the marrow of my bones that I won't be doing this alone much longer.
Let's start out with a tale of BBFs. Two beautiful young women, again just starting to enjoy the full bloom of young womanhood when gunmen burst into their upstairs apartment and blasted them both and a young man who happened to be there with them. Why? What did these gunmen want? I would have painted Tyreka Martin and Kishawna Pinder together, but as their photos came months apart, I did them as they arrived.
The young man, Brian Powell , is a sketch on canvas, and will arrive with the next squad. He really took his time arriving to me.
Robert Jackson Jr. and Frank Harper Jr. Best friends since boyhood, brothers in all but lineage. On September 24, 2013 Robert was found behind a dumpster with multiple gunshots to the head. Who and why? On October 18, Frank harper got into an argument with a security guard at a Subway. (What does that say when a neighborhood sub shop needs a security guard?!) They took the argument to the lot of a nearby gas station. When the guard whipped out his gun Frank raised his hands in surrender. That"s when the guard shot him . I saw the video. Together in life and now death as they died only 3 1/2 weeks apart.
Robert Laney Jr. was trying to get a loan to start a small trucking business when he was robbed and shot leaving behind six fatherless orphans. His mother, Queen E. Laney, is the head of the Baltimore chapter for Moms Demand Action organization. She knows her son's portrait exists and I hope we all work together.
Gerald Commodore was being driven to his uncle's house to help with some minor home repairs when shots aimed at the driver rang out from who knows. Gerald was a big man and ended up cushioning the bullets for the intended target.
I know Tracy Love was a convicted felon who got his sentence reduced by cooperating with authorities. Technically, most would consider him a "menace to society". Gunned down in an alley, I guess for snitching early last November. Here's the thing. In this quest for all one million victims I cannot pick and choose based on societal mores. I want to treat each portrait with equal compassion and equal intensity. He leaves behind a precious baby girl. That's all that matters. Otherwise I don't care.
Andrew Hoffman, firefighter, and Marie Leanne Hartman, were falling in love. She had broken up with a very possessive man , a Baltimore police officer. Unfortunately, the police officer did not understand that. he drove miles to Marie's suburban home. The second to last act he did in life was gun down Andrew and Marie. The last act he did was immediately blow his own brains out. Police officer is also a sketch on canvas and will be next.
Remember all the media attention that happened when two surf store employees were gunned down in a mall in Columbia MD? How could this happen in this ideal planned town? In fact that seemed to be the emphasis of the story, and not the wanton waste of a young mother and a young man dreraming of his own business.
Here's 16-year old Lavar Crawford. He was shot dead the same day. It just happened in Baltimore City. And he's African American. And he's male. Part of the daily routine? Sorry. Since he's a fellow Baltimorean, he got first attention, and will get much more before this mission is through.
Lastly, every New year's Eve, we here in Charm city like to add a toast that we can get through a New year's day without someone getting killed. Not this year. Frank and Anthony Turner were simply walking down the sidewalk when three gunmen ran up and blasted away at both of them with semi-automatics. They died fifteen minutes apart at shock trauma at 5:00 PM New year's day. Both were felons. Frank was a member of the Turner boys in the eighties, Anthony, I don't know. But here are father and son. Until we get a grip and finally and totally get rid of this Drug War once and for all, entire families will be wiped out in seconds all in the name of morality.