from the Anna Pierrepont Series
(Click Images to Magnify)
"The universe of public monuments—and our reactions to them—occupy a space where art promotes a version of truth that is being advanced by those with the power to make the art manifest."
For the last eight years, Howard Skrill's art project, the Anna Pierrepont Series, has consisted of works on paper created en plein air and in the studio of extant public monuments, attacks against monuments, and monument removals.
These images have been exhibited and published worldwide, standing alone, and incorporated into pictorial essays that explore the impact of these works on the erasure of public and private memory.
The accelerated targeting of long-extant monuments by crowds of furious protesters after George Floyd's murder (as witnessed in these images of splashed monuments) has extended the scope of the series in unimaginable directions since Skrill began the project in the early 2010s.
This version of the truth has a definite shelf life, and is perceived as increasingly absurd as power shifts and earlier versions of truth loosen their grip on the collective imagination.
Skrill was inspired by the artist William Kentridge, who dedicated much of his practice to presenting the absurdity of his country's system of racial organization, apartheid. and how simply representing the absurdity of current systems becomes a species of realism in itself.
These images of splashed monuments were created after the murder of George Floyd and the protests worldwide that followed, as people awakened to the presence of monuments in their midst that celebrate individuals and ideas reflecting worldviews and institutions that have supported the perpetuation of systemic injustice.
HOWARD SKRILL is an artist/educator and a long term resident of Brooklyn, NY, where he lives with his wife.
Check out Skrill's contribution to the cover of issue 30 here.