Rebel Yell, A Painting Against Confederate Symbols

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In my freshman year of high school, I attended a well established, public school whose mascot was Jonny Rebel, a Confederate Soldier. The Confederate Flag and uniform were a part of the school’s tradition. That year, however, a couple of students challenged the mascot and he was eventually changed, scrubbed free of the symbols of bigotry and oppression.


At the time, I don’t think I understood the layers of controversy. I had never experienced racism towards my person or someone that I loved (those would come later). However, I was coming to term with my own sexuality in the contexts of teenage and boy scouting, so I knew what it was to be oppressed by a majority group.

#RebelYell is an indictment of the use of this symbol. This mixed media piece is fashioned from paper, bubble wrap and acrylic. It is 36×48 inches. The Confederate Flag is superimposed of the ‘trash’ elements, stained black with age, wear and hate. Nine doves scatter from The Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, frightened from the concussive shot of the Rebel Yell. Rich in layered symbolism and meaning, this painting honors those fallen in last week’s tragedy while simultaneously demanding the removal of the Confederate Flag from government spaces, a cruel and vicious prior restraint that only serves to marginalized Black Americans.


#RebelYell is the latest in my multidisciplinary series, #ArtToEndViolence.

Reconciling Faith

 

#ReconcilingFaith
#ReconcilingFaith

With the politics of religion running rampant across America, from anti-LGBT legislation to the so called ‘diminishing’ of religious rights, faith has been heavy on my mind of late. Though not personally religious, I love faith; it is filled with joy, stories, history and ultimately has led us to a progressive, pluralistic society (don’t they all teach to love ones neighbor). In this watercolor and ink portrait, I reconcile religion and queerness, transforming the love of Jesus and Muhammad into something of queer beauty, a marked contrast from the violence and vitriol poured upon LGBT people’s by Christian and Muslim societies. Each is colored according to faith, the red ‘shadows’ representing the blood of LGBT innocents harmed by religious extremism.

Reconciling Faith is watercolor, ink and wax crayon on paper.

Blossom With Creativity

Henisey_BirthOfCreation_18x24_Watercolor

Let your Saturday blossom with creativity!

The Birth of Creation is part of an ongoing series of watercolors entitled, Out of the Darkness. This series explores global mythology, retelling creation and the flowering of civilization through a lens of inclusiveness. Here, Indian, Classical Greek and Athabaskan myths are merged to illustrate the creation of the cosmos.

Each of the paintings in Out of the Darkness, winner 2nd Place Overall at South Bay Contemporary’s 2014 All Themes Juried Show curated by Scott Canty, is 18 by 24 inches, watercolor and ink on 140lb paper.

FineArt

Rebel Yell, A Painting Against Confederate Symbols

  

In my freshman year of high school, I attended a well established, public school whose mascot was Jonny Rebel, a Confederate Soldier. The Confederate Flag and uniform were a part of the school’s tradition. That year, however, a couple of students challenged the mascot and he was eventually changed, scrubbed free of the symbols of bigotry and oppression. 

  
At the time, I don’t think I understood the layers of controversy. I had never experienced racism towards my person or someone that I loved (those would come later). However, I was coming to term with my own sexuality in the contexts of teenage and boy scouting, so I knew what it was to be oppressed by a majority group. 

  

#RebelYell is an indictment of the use of this symbol. This mixed media piece is fashioned from paper, bubble wrap and acrylic. It is 36×48 inches. The Confederate Flag is superimposed of the ‘trash’ elements, stained black with age, wear and hate. Nine doves scatter from The Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, frightened from the concussive shot of the Rebel Yell. Rich in layered symbolism and meaning, this painting honors those fallen in last week’s tragedy while simultaneously demanding the removal of the Confederate Flag from government spaces, a cruel and vicious prior restraint that only serves to marginalized Black Americans. 

  
#RebelYell is the latest in my multidisciplinary series, #ArtToEndViolence. Pieces from the collection are on display at Orange County Creatives Gallery and the titular piece will appear at the California State Fair, 2015 Fine Art Exposition in Sacramento. 

Reconciling Faith

  
With the politics of religion running rampant across America, from anti-LGBT legislation to the so called ‘diminishing’ of religious rights, faith has been heavy on my mind of late. Though not personally religious, I love faith; it is filled with joy, stories, history and ultimately has led us to a progressive, pluralistic society (don’t they all teach to love ones neighbor). In this watercolor and ink portrait, I reconcile religion and queerness, transforming the love of Jesus and Muhammad into something of queer beauty, a marked contrast from the violence and vitriol poured upon LGBT people’s by Christian and Muslim societies. Each is colored according to faith, the red ‘shadows’ representing the blood of LGBT innocents harmed by religious extremism. 

Reconciling Faith is watercolor, ink and wax crayon on paper.