The Fifth Freedom: Freedom from Discrimination

The Fifth Freedom

Freedom From Discrimination


The Four Freedoms refer to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's January 1941 Four Freedoms State of the Union address that spoke to the essential rights of human beings. The four fundamental rights are: Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. These later became the cornerstone of the United Nations charter and Norman Rockwell immortalized these freedoms with his famous series of paintings. 


As if the Constitution, and Title VII have not made things perfectly clear about fundamental human rights, we now find ourselves fighting laws that actually support discrimination.

My work, The Fifth Freedom: Freedom From Discrimination is a series of portraits. The brushwork is bold as are the colors, as if to heighten the expression and emotion. I was purposefully vague about depicting specific gender, leaving only the people, their expressions  and vulnerability.  The Fifth Freedom series depicts four figures in a public bathroom. I used the setting because we all know HB2 is not about bathrooms and protection, but somehow the public has latched onto this notion of what could happen in a public bathroom, and has used this to defend the law. 


I want the viewer to not care about gender, and just see the people depicted however they identify themselves.  In our culture gender can be defined by physical characteristics, by cultural norms, and now it seems by laws.