Sink or Swim, by artist Adam Lucas, was originally done in paint on bleached denim. He was later asked to reproduce the painting as a mural in New York City, as shown here. The work was inspired by an incident in May 2017 off the coast of Libya, when a boat overloaded with some 200 migrants capsized while attempting to reach Europe. Though many were rescued, several dozen died—reportedly, most of them very young children. The piece is in response to one specific disaster, but it can be applied to any number of refugee crises. The artist asks us to imagine being part of a family living in an environment so dire that the best hope lies across the uncertain sea. The Mickey Mouse life vest, representing joy and innocence, references an actual child making the journey as well as blameless youth being forced into a situation of such severity. Loss of childhood at best, loss of life at worst.
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Art Pages: Adam Lucas
A powerful statement on the dangers faced by migrants crossing borders.
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