John William Bailly
06 January 2021, 2021
Oil on canvas
86 x 118 inches / 220 x 300 centimeters
Collection of Perez Art Museum Miami
Museum Acquisition with funds provided by Bonnie & Peter Dockter
“January 6th and the lies that led to insurrection have put two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk. The world is watching what we do here.” United States Representative Bennie Thompson
“Bailly displays the tensions launched through the insurrection on the US Capitol Building within this monumental work. Taking inspiration from art historical renderings emblematic of revolution, Bailly presents the tension between chaos and resilience by quoting the master works of Francisco Goya and Eugéne Delacroix. The impacting composition is complete with American Poet Laureate and activist Amanda Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb,” woven throughout the skyline. Executed in a manner that matches the extremity of its subject, 6th of January, 2021 symbolizes the state of a divided nation, encapsulating this landmark moment in history.” Sofia Guerra
On 06 January 2021, Bailly was in his Power Studio at the Deering Estate. As he followed the news from Washington DC, he grew more shocked and repulsed as events unfolded. Bailly is fundamentally dedicated to the principles of democracy and the separation of powers. That a sitting president would motivate his supporters to undermine American democracy was one of the most incomprehensible and darkest moments in the history of the US in his lifetime. Bailly was furious and utterly disgusted with President Trump and his seditious supporters. He felt it was imperative to capture the treason and violence of 06 January 2021.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905.
Bailly started this painting that very day-the 06 January 2021 painting was started on 06 January 2021 in the Power House studio at the Deering Estate.
The first steps included abstract studies of the mob.
“I was stuck on the painting. I wanted the violence of the Capitol Insurrection to be reflected in a violent application of paint. But I also wanted to reflect the eternal hope of the US towards a more perfect union. I was at a loss at how to express that. And then I heard a voice that was both inspiring and forceful. It was the voice of Amanda Gorman. She put into words the thoughts of so many Americans at a time when we could not find them ourselves. I decided to paint her words in a sky of colors, above the hate and chaos.”
“The beauty and importance of ‘6th of January, 2021,'(2021) is the ability to translate a historically important event through an artistic display of two opposing emotions – hope and discord – creating space for a meaningful story to be told. Through this piece, John highlights the greater importance of dialogue amidst trying times,” notes LnS GALLERY co-director, Sergio Cernuda
24 September 2022
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