Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brian Mackey: Artist's bold colors show mankind's struggles

The first thing you notice about Carlos Francisco Jackson’s art is the color.

Each silkscreened image is dominated by just a handful of bold colors: pale yellow shirts here, bright red signs there.

The people are portrayed in just two shades, light and shadow. Black, brown and white (in the language of racial and ethnic categorization) are represented by shades of brown, tan and peach (in the language of the crayon box).

Jackson’s exhibit, “Mi America/My America,” is on display through March 23 in the Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Jackson’s subjects are taken from photographs new and old, all depicting moments in the struggle for equal rights over the past five decades. Martin Luther King is being booked into the Montgomery County Jail (“Montgomery Bus Boycott”) next to an image of the people who were among the millions who in 2006 marched in cities across America to protest proposed changes to U.S. immigration laws (“Citizenship”).

The exhibit was featured in a February 24, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article