American Guernica is a direct appropriation of Picasso's 1937 iconic anti-war painting, "Guernica." Felta Virginia's contemporary painting is a reflection of the events of 2020. Civil unrest was precipitated by bilateral political corruption, and police violence led to protest and rioting. Movements like the Black Lives Matter and #metoo responded to marginalized peoples. To make matters worse, children were dying on our southern border, wildfires raged out west, a global pandemic (COVID-19), and an encroaching surveillance culture in mobile phones and security cameras everywhere with no one willing to provide the justice we all wanted and needed. This is also a commentary on the influence between social media and the news cycle, and the hypocritical, cult-like influence social media has on the market regarding tragic issues in the news media. With 2020 came a sudden insistence that artists, athletes, and businesses make Marxist style public admissions of their racist sins. These public declarations of racist transgressions were intended to demonstrate changed hearts. Still, they were as shallow as Instagram models posting their conflicting messages of sexual freedom that are nothing more than sexual submission to somebody else's standards of beauty and desirability. In the original Guernica, Picasso had placed a single flower in a dying soldier's hand that is believed to have represented hope. In this contemporary version, there are bushes of flowers to encourage an abundance of hope. Picasso's Guernica was a depiction of the first act of arial warfare implemented on a community in Spain by Nazi's during the Spanish Civil War. Roughly 1,600 civilians were killed who were largely comprised of women, children, and the elderly. This painting was a protest against the horrors of war. Felta Virginia's American Guernica protests the violence, civil unrest, and societal abuses coming from every direction inside the United States of America during a global pandemic and changing climate.
About the Artist
Felta Virginia is a third culture contemporary artist. She paints bold florals with calligraphic lines and asymmetrical compositions. Her work consist of socially relevant figure paintings and non-representational abstracts.