Sunday, September 13, 2009

"To the Mothers" 30" x 45", Acrylic, Ink

This is the main piece for my "Nanny" series. You can see the other 5 pieces below. I hope people that view this series of paintings get a better understanding of how many women, specifically mothers play the role of mother to children that aren't theirs. Majority of the time these children are white/European/European-American and the "mothers" are Brown and Black.
It struck me as sad, and amazing how much energy these mothers/women have to give, give, give, to other children; caring for them, teaching them, feeding them, singing to them and then have to go home (if allowed) and take care of their own. But does their energy ever run out? What of those children that don't get to see their mothers? Also struck me as amazing as how much privilege the white mothers have, that they can hand over their children to other women and walk away to work or do as they please.

What do you think??


  1. true story. though working at the bookstore change my whole definition of what a nanny is. you see, the nannys in midtown, mostly haitian women over the age of 35, didn't care very much for the light skinned children under their supervision. it struck me at the time as disturbing. how you can trust a nanny so much with your child and when youre not around, she lets your baby cry while she shares a conversation with another nanny in Creole.

    And now, to see you express your feelings toward women who go above and beyond for someones child, is also disturbing. how about, we all take care of our own babies??

  2. These are beautiful! Nannies deserve respect for doing such an important job full of sacrifices.

    You've got me thinking, here are some thoughts.

    I have been cared for by lots of baby sitters and day cares (not nannies). But my mother didn't hand me over as an act of privilege, she did it because she had to work.

    I will have to/want to work when I have children, and won't want to participate in the class/racial dynamic of having a nanny (like I could afford it anyway?). However I will need child care.

    Why don't we (as a society) ask where the fathers are in the equation? Women are expected to fill the roles of parents and workers while we rarely ask men to do both.

    I think the racial/class/power/family dynamic with nannies is disturbing. This is why I would choose day care. There is another question here about gender, workers and a lack of respect for families. Why do parents get such short maternity leave (and almost no paternity leave)? Why do professionals, nannies, etc. have to choose between work and family?


  3. getting hot in here dude, put jay electronica on the list for rappers