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World Leader Series
2004

This series began after watching news coverage of the United States invasion of Iraq. After the ‘defeat’ of the Hussein regime, I was watching a television news report with the reporter standing in front of the destruction of public art in the image of Saddam Hussein. The work was a large mural on the side of a building that was being painted out. The image was quite beautiful, not necessarily from the standpoint of regime change, but from an aesthetic view. The majority of the mural was gone, leaving behind merely the shape of Hussein.

I then photographed various world leaders and literally painted them out. I always contemplate with old photographs and the freezing of time how one will be remembered through their image. I also wonder that idea of remembrance with the leaders of today, when all that is left is their image in a history book. The painting out of the image symbolizes the fall from power. How easy it is to paint someone out, how easy it is to lose control.

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