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Mark Steven Greenfield


I’m reminded of a scene in the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still, when everything electrical was shut down by the alien, and Professor Barnhard questioned his assistant, “Does all this frighten you? Does it make you feel insecure?” To which she answered “Yes, it certainly does”, and he responds, “That’s good Hilda, I’m glad”. The things I’ve seen and lived through since the mid-sixties have worn away my optimism, and left me cynical, but not hopeless.


Zong, 2019, Ink and Acrylic on Duralar


The idea of racial diversity is antithetical to the narrative envisioned by the founding fathers and some of their progeny have been wrestling with shame, defiance, guilt denial, hatred, blame and remorse, for more than two centuries. We’ve come to understand that taking the same failed action and expecting different results is a form of insanity. So yes, we are at the fabled inflexion point, where issues of race, gender bias, sexual orientation, religious affiliation and class must be addressed with substantive solutions.


On The Money # 2, 2016, Ink on Wood Panel


My father was in the military and until age ten, and I lived mostly outside of the country. My father had some rank, and his position insulated me from some, but not all, racial prejudice. I didn’t really experience classic racism until returning to America. I identified with the Black Power and Anti-War movements of the1960’s and had my baptism in tear gas and batons at the same age that many are experiencing it now. I was stopped by the police with the inevitable regularity of an unloved season, for no reason and without apology. Ironically, years later I was hired as a police artist and learned the culture all too well, so I am not surprised or shocked by what I’ve seen, but glad you are. I am now of an age where the most effective contribution I can make to the coming change is through my art, which is deeply grounded in racial politics and my meditative practice.


I have never felt safe in America, but I love it too much to leave.


Life Matters, 2017



What's That Funky Smell?, 2019, Gold Leaf and Acrylic on Wood Panel



Anger Management, 2016, 42" X 40", Acrylic Ink on Duralar



Momma’s Gonna Make It All Better, 2019, Gold Leaf and Acrylic on Wood Panel, 23” X 18”



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All images other than author photos and artist artwork ©Matthew Batt 2020