Submitted by: Gale Sherman
Microscopic species have been the subject of artists in the past, beginning with Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). It was not his age (85 years old) that was the cause of his death, but the Pandemic of 1919. Now 100 years later, the Covid-19 virus is also best seen by microscopes, but electron microscopes. Coronaviruses are, in fact, just part of our natural world.
Artists often feel a need for their art to make a social or political statement. For some, it’s their driving force, for others, like me, it is occasional. I found 9/11 so disturbing that I was driven to painting numerous panels of crumbling building until I liked a particular one for a collage. It certainly was not a “pretty picture” with bent wires and sharp ends protruding left and right, but art doesn’t need to be pretty or pleasing.
Our government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been equally disheartening and deeply disturbing for me in a different way. From the closing of the White House Pandemic Office in 2018 to the idea of cleansing the inside of our bodies with household disinfectants in April 2020, our country has been in a wicked downhill slide of being a leader in the world. I struggled to make sense of our country’s lack of leadership, but found some relief in creating this piece in early May 2020.