DALE WILLIAMS
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"The Sans-culottes Today"

Series of 20 drawings, 2005, all charcoal on paper, 26" x 19" (selected images shown below)

“The Sans-Culottes Today” is a narrative sequence of 20 drawings. In this work the figure of the sans-culotte—radical predominantly working class citizen of the Paris sections during the French revolution—is re-imagined in the United States of today.

The landscapes and events depicted are symbolic representations of anger, political ineffectualness, and despair. Some of the imagery was inspired by the news coverage of the flood destruction of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. But the drawings are also meant to show an incipient resilience of spirit. The protagonist in nearly every drawing wears the traditional cap of liberty, the Phrygian cap, as if to suggest that a new consciousness can be born even in such dire straits.

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"PROLOGUE: A SEASONED SKEPTIC MOVED TO TEARS BY THE PURE AND TENDER
FLAME OF NASCENT TALENT"

 

"READING AS THE RAINS BEGIN"

 

"THE WEAK RISE AGAINST THEIR OPPRESSORS REAL AND IMAGINED"

 

"DEATH WILL ALSO SHED ITS TEARS FOR THE MORE FORTUNATE"

 

"THE POWER OF VISION AVAILABLE TO ALL"

 

"THE ARTIST VISITS THE DISASTER SITE AND RESUSCITATES THE DROWNED"

 

"SISTER COURAGE BROTHER BUSH"

 

"AN EMPTY POCKET MOBILE"


"SENTRY"

 

"SANS-CULOTTE GALLEY NIPPER VISITS THE ADMIN MAN"

 

"WAITING FOR HELP"

 

"TORRENTIAL OBSEQUIOUSNESS"

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