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Michael James Freedman

Gallows at the People's House

Gallows at the People's House

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I never thought I'd see it.

Sometimes the hate that sits behind the great conflicts of our ages oozes out in such a way as to break our preconceptions of the times we live in. For me the appearance of gallows on January 6, 2021 in front of the Capitol is one of those times. I like to think that we live in civilized times, where the rule of law prevails. That it's not like middle school, where one is maybe afraid to do the right thing because some bully might beat you up after school.

I mean, it's the congress, for God's sake. Members shouldn't have to worry about physical intimidation.

But here we are. 

A gallows is erected in front of the Capitol, built to intimidate, to stop the legislature from doing its constitutional duty. And it's a gallows backed by a mob of hockey-stick wielding, bear-mace spraying, gun-toting MAGAs, who actually succeeded in breaking into the Capitol and putting their feet on Nancy Pelosi's desk. 

This is a quick study of that day.

I'm working on a series of paintings about the insurrection, and I'm starting with studies. I don't expect you to like the imagery here - I mean, come on, it's a gallows - but I think it's important to bear witness to these events. I think that my job is, through my art, to help understand and explain these times. And while this might make you uncomfortable (it makes me uncomfortable), as Trump said about the Covid deaths, it is what it is.

It's small but mighty

The actual painting is 7" x 10" and the prints are printed on Hahnemühle German Etching all-cotton archival 310 g/mA Paper, 8.5" x 11" with 3/4 inch borders on two sides, and 1.5" border on the top and bottom, so they fit in a standard frames. Each print is signed and numbered.


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