This painting was created specifically for an exhibition titled 'South Carolina Birds - A Fine Arts Exhibition'. I was unsure why I was invited considering the nature of my art. The curator, Wim Roefs, assured me that I could interpret the theme in any way I saw fit. This was my entry.
The chicken is a curious beast. A composite of ‘white meat’ and ‘dark meat’, it is segregated within its own body. I found this fact compelling and rather specific to another curiosity, Clarence Thomas. By his own admission, Clarence is the product of a rather stereotypical Black American background. Through the application of moral strictness, due diligence and exploitation of system parameters (quota preferences?), he has risen through the judicial ranks and now sits on the highest court in the land. His ascendancy has been the subject of many criticisms. Chosen to replace a monument bearing the likeness of Thurgood Marshall, whom, before becoming a Supreme Court Justice, had argued many cases before the high court including the landmark Brown vs. The Board of Education. His resume and successful legacy of activism cast a long shadow over the wan resume of Clarence Thomas who was and is still seen as inadequate. A ‘snack box’ vs. ‘a complete meal’. In a then politically charged appointment by the equally politically charged Ronald Reagan, Clarence arguably benefited from his ‘dark meat’ appearance and ‘white meat’ status. However, since his appointment to the Supreme Court, his conservative ‘white meat’ positions on a myriad of decisions continue to offer fuel to his long standing detractors who had hoped that he would defend and supplement the legacy of his predecessor. Since his appointment, Justice Thomas has gained a reputation for two things, his uncharacteristic silence during oral arguments and his unwavering steadfastness to all things Justice Antonin Scalia, the undisputed framer of the oral argument and leader of the neo-conservative movement on the court to which Clarence seems comfortable playing a complementary role. ‘Biscuits’ anyone?