Spiraling Out of Control - Tamera Bedford

Tamera Bedford

Spiraling Out of Control, 2020

31 x 41 cmMixed media - acrylic and paper on canvas board$7,000.00This piece is a statement on the current state of affairs in the United States, where I am originally from. It is physically very textural and has a lot of depth to it. I put an additive called fiber paste into the paint while I was making it, and put the paint on in very thick layers while at the same time scratching some of it out to expose the layers below. The actual paint itself on the board feels a bit chaotic yet ordered at the same time.
The text is a modification of a headline which appeared in the SCMP in early January. The US was in the midst of impeachment proceedings to remove Donald Trump from office. No one had any idea yet what was coming with Covid-19. The message which I am trying to convey is that things were bad in the US even before the virus hit. Now, more than ever, the message rings true.
I used a number of different fonts from letters which I cut out of magazines. I’m not sure if people here are familiar with the look of somewhat messy cutout print letters. Kidnappers used to use that method in the US when I was little (well before computers) when they would send someone a ransom letter. It was a way of trying to avoid getting caught by the police. I used the text in this way to try to symbolize that the US has been captured and taken over by “bad guys”, meaning Donald Trump.
I also changed the ‘c’ in ‘America’ to a ‘k’. This is a reference to the current race riots happening in the US. There is an old organization in the US called the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). It is made up of white supremest. They are against anyone being in America other than white people. The think the white race is superior to all others. They are a bit like the Nazis. Historically in the southern part of the US, where we used to have slavery, they would do something called lynching to black people. Basically they would accuse someone of a crime, often the rape of a white woman, and instead of getting the police involved they would take the accused and publicly hang them from a tree to kill them. Often the police were also members of the KKK. This organization, and these types of men, still exist in the US even today.
The image of Donald Trump is intentionally blurred out and fuzzy looking. When you see the painting in person it looks a bit like an electronic image, maybe from a TV screen or your phone. Donald Trump, more so than any previous president, has used the media to broadcast his political messages. He had a reality TV show for many years before becoming president. I think of him existing as an electronic image more so than an actual human.