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Yashua Klos’ monumental woodblock print portrait of a black man raise profound questions about the definition of patriotism and the relationship between a citizen and their nation.

Klos says: “In San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s choice to ‘take a knee’ during the National Anthem there is a defiantly patriotic act… Coming-of-voting-age, as a young black man, I recall the older generation insisting that their fight for voting rights be honored through our act of voting… All Americans have the right to vote, or not, and pledge allegiance to our symbols of democracy by singing the National Anthem, or not.”

Here, Klos’ subjects choose to stand for the National Anthem or for the Pledge of Allegiance. The closed fists over their hearts is a quiet act of resistance. The medium “further humanizes the subject,” Klos says. “In America, woodblock printing has historically been used to create grass roots political imagery and propaganda posters since the turn of the century. Here, it is used to create portraits on banners where the subject –black men- function as political symbol themselves.”

Details

  • Title: Hank.
  • Creator: Yashua Klos
  • Date Created: 21st Century
  • Location Created: New York, NY
  • Physical Dimensions: 48"x96"
  • Type: Woodblock Print
  • Medium: Woodblock Print on Muslin

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