WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA

 

What does an American look like? Years ago at a concert, as my friend visiting from Denmark studied the band members, she asked if they were Americans. A bizarre question, I thought. Our Americanism isn’t tied to a look at all. “American” is an attitude. A belief. It’s how we see ourselves and how we put ourselves out there.

 

An American culture? The one-size-fits-all “American Dream”?  With each new generation, we change and reshape our country and what it stands for, yet our essence remains undeniably American.

 

Of the 16 subjects I have thus far painted for this series, upon approaching them as a stranger, describing my project, and asking if I may photograph them, not one person has declined. Unprompted, everyone has looked directly into my lens. These people have asked very few questions, all trusting me with their image.

 

As the child and grandchild of immigrants, I was raised with daily reminders of my family’s reverence for, and appreciation of, this American identity. The Land of Opportunity was ours. Regardless of our look, our accent, or how long we have called ourselves American, that is uniquely Who we all are.

 

All paintings are 24” x 32” x 2”. Oil and mixed media on linen mounted on board.

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KATHLEEN E. CARBONARA

All rights reserved © 2019 Kathleen Carbonara