These are works made in quarantine, while people were dying of Covid-19, while the world was divided and fighting to defund brutal and racist institutions, while the world was acknowledging the murder of black men and women by police, at a time where what used to matter seems so different from what matters now.
These paintings are my reactions to images of authority from the history of Western European art. These are not copies, rather I'm using these historical works as a scaffolding, removing and abstracting to give them new meaning.
Much of this work was motivated by challenging historical institutions of power and the custodians of colonization, all the while respecting the masterful way the iconic works were painted. This body of work was also about moving away from strict formal portraiture, allowing my paintings to be loose and un-rigid; expressing depth, colour, energy and place. - Mike Rachlis