The worldwide push towards authoritarianism under the pretext of a faux pandemic is coercing nearly every aspect of society into its respective pen, which means that nearly everyone is in a position to become a wrench in the gears.
This is what inspired me to create this painting; it celebrates the revolutionary spirit being demonstrated by all manner of people, from grandmothers refusing to shop at mask enforcing stores, to parents exploring alternative ways to educate their children rather than letting them be muzzled and injected by the state.
To represent the New Normal crowd on the right and left of the painting, I elaborated on an idea that I established in an earlier painting Safe and Sanitized with skulls gagged by facemasks and held by their handcuffed hands (lockdowns), plus vaccine syringes stuck half haphazardly into them.
The building towering over the crowd on the left is Building 21, one of the CDC’s most iconic structures in their headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
On the right is the United States Capitol Building, with the bronze Statue of Freedom that crowns the Capitol dome having been replaced in my painting by a statue of the Caduceus (serpents twined around a winged rod). The Caduceus is an ancient symbol with various interpretations including commerce, though used in the USA as a symbol of medicine. Here it represents freedom displaced for “medicine” with the added irony that “medicine” is really just business and is actually being represented by a commerce symbol.
Also on the right is the ancient symbol of medicine still widely used, The Rod of Asclepius (a single serpent twined around a staff). Here the serpent rises above its “patients” which it terrorizes, and the knob on the top of the rod is a human skull impaled on a large vaccine syringe. This rendition of The Rod of Asclepius more accurately captures the spirit of modern medicine.
The landscape that can be seen through the center is set both in autumn and in the evening to emphasize that it is the past, which is why our protagonists cannot go back that way.
They must push back against the New Normal, thereby maintaining open a doorway to a brighter future.