Brenda Edwards



Local group competitions are often themed and participating is an exercise that can take you to places as an artist that you might not normally go. Truthfully, that sometimes means people who follow my art might not be interested in that particular item in my portfolio and not bother to brave the frenzy of the downtown Phoenix First Friday night traffic to see it. Then there’s the odd balance of being in group exhibitions. Thirty artists together in the same room is a lot of fun for the artists, but then, they’re not the ones who will buy the work. Add to that the energy of all the participants friends and collectors and the motley array of First Friday downtown walkers who are only vaguely aware that the experience even involves art; and you’ve got a 3 to 4 hour allotment of time that makes it tough to sell art. So the real benefit to being in the show is a line on a resume.

This is a round about way of saying who gives a crap if the painting didn’t get me in the show? I wanted to paint it anyway. Yes, I came up with the idea for “In God We Trust” when I heard the theme “Gods and Monsters”, but it was merely another excuse to take a shot at Trump. And granted – Cruz, the wuss, dropped out of the race just as I submitted it. But what if Cruz is the VP nominee – he could be? Clearly, the two of them standing there together with ultimately no difference in their platforms as dictated by the Republican Party, makes the point that no matter who won the nomination, the objective was still the same. The rejection also gives me the option of painting Cruz out altogether and replacing him with the VP nomination as the race unfolds. I’m still holding out that option. Presenting it could possibly have seemed pointless to the gallery.  Does a political painting have a market? It probably doesn’t.

However, my healthy artistic ego will never really believe it wasn’t good enough to get in. And that, dear ones, is the art of rejection.

And if you’re reading this I’m just wondering who you think will be standing on that stage next to Trump selling the destruction of Muslims to the American public besides Mr Cruz? I certainly hope it’s not you.

Note: Because I wouldn’t know this myself, if I hadn’t researched it – the backdrop is an online image of what was once a city in Syria. I’m not sure what city it is, but it was photographed in June of 2015. The flag in the center of the painting is Syrian. The Syrian flag originally had two stars, the three star flag is the flag of the opposition fighters against Asaad, who is not a good man and who is supported by Russia. Everyone now knows that Putin supports Trump. ISIS is the third faction in Syria and apparently only there to confuse everyone. The boy in the foreground standing in the tire was lifted from an online image of a Syrian refugee camp. People once lived in that backdrop, maybe even that poor little boy who is still no luckier today I am sure.