Portfolio > Ekphrasia

Inspired by the works of Mary Lovelace O'Neill.

Like Rain
Like Rain
Mixed Media
5" wide, 7" tall oval

Mary Lovelace O'Neill (b. 1942) was mentored by Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin during the 1960s and her provocative compositions reflect both aesthetic and political concerns. O'Neal's 1993 lithograph, Racism is Like Rain, Either It's Raining or It's Gathering Somewhere, was included in the California Afro-American Museum's 1992 exhibition "No Justice, No Peace? Resolutions," a direct response to the Rodney King verdict of 1992 and ensuing riots/racial tensions that stratified the city.

"O'Neal's repeated use of black pigment and its obvious symbolism reflect racial politics in the United States. My paintings and their titles speak for me, she says. They’re not attitudes of despair; they simply state a factual existence that continues. Consequently, her work gives voice to intangible elements of the human spirit, dreamlike figurative elements in highly abstracted compositions, the aesthetic and symbolic qualities of black creating a dynamic call and response." National Museum of Women in the Arts, Spotlight: Mary Lovelace O'Neill.