Many people in government offices put portraits of the president in their office, and many religious people put icons of their god in theirs. The idea is that you keep that person you feel responsible to on your mind, as if they’re always watching you. As neither Trump nor a deity shall find a place on my wall, I decided to draw the visage of one of my great heroes: Harriet Tubman for my office.
I think Harriet Tubman was a truly spectacular human and had a braveness and strength of character I could only dream of emulating. While I was drawing this portrait, I put it up for the night before it was finished. When I went to resume drawing, I kept looking at the rough unfinished blank portion of this image and it reminded me of how unfinished Tubman’s work really is. Prisoners, many of them innocent, are forced to labor for free or wages of around a dollar or two, often risking their lives fighting fires. Sex trafficking and open slave markets in Libya are growing. Migrant farm workers often are abused and have their wages denied with no one they can go to for recourse because they have less rights than the citizens of this country.
So I decided to leave my portrait as it was and have called it “Harriet Tubman: A Work Unfinished”.