The Story of "Flags for HRC"

Several years ago, I had a studio visit from a gallerist who wasn’t interested in the paintings on panel I was then working on, but rather a series of works on paper, called Flags, that I had completed in 2009. She asked me to let her know if I was planning to produce more. Even though it would pull me away from the momentum of the current work, I completed a few new Flags before abandoning them to return to the work that was seriously engaging me. During the 2016 bizarre and distressing presidential election I was obsessed with the polls, checking them multiple times within an hour all day, every day; furious with cable news and much of the media that was presenting the candidates with a false equivalence. The degree of hate and misogyny directed at Hillary Rodham Clinton was truly mind blowing and painful—analogous to the appalling and public racism leveled at our first Black president as he sought to govern.

One day, working at home, checking the polls and making myself sick as usual, I quit work, took a long bath, watched a Shrek movie and feeling better, posted one of those abandoned Flags on Facebook and called it Flag for HRC. I continued making Flags for HRC after the election as a way of keeping her inspiration alive and as a constant reminder of the many people who have been harmed, especially people of color and women, not just in the U.S., but globally, by policies enacted by this administration.

All of the Flags have identical, three-panel constructions and are painted with acrylic on translucent tracing vellum. They are not meant to be, in their color and abstraction, illustrative of the titles in any way. They are a simple offering in the name of all women and girls and marginalized people, who, in spite of the disdain directed at them routinely, carry on with resilience, determination and joy. In particular, each Flag pays homage to Hillary Rodham Clinton who, over the years, much of the public has been taught to despise, but nevertheless persists. Think of them as open-ended banners of hope.

As a small, political action, Flags for HRC, which would normally be priced at $1500 each, can be purchased for $375 + $25 shipping, out of which I will send $100 to a nonprofit that is focused on one of the many areas of social and environmental justice that is currently under attack.

Image Titles:

Flag for HRC (as long as ever you can), 2017
Acrylic on tracing vellum, 11 x 28 in.

Flag for HRC (in all the ways you can), 2017
Acrylic on tracing vellum, 11 x 28 in.

Flag for HRC (to all the people you can), 2017
Acrylic on tracing vellum, 11 x 28 in.

Flag for HRC (2.6+), 2016
Acrylic on tracing vellum, 11 x 28 in.

Flag for HRC (Do all the good you can), 2016
Acrylic on tracing vellum, 11 x 28 in.

Special price to promote social justice | Visit our Shop to purchase.

Price: $375  

Cicely Cottingham