Picture in Focus: "I Can't Breathe" by Carl Dixon

January 30, 2022

Picture in Focus: "I Can

As we see in this week's featured artwork, "I Can't Breathe," Mississippi Folk Artist Carl Dixon seeks to create images putting today's headlines in a biblical perspective. In this mixed media painting on carved wood panel, he interpretes in three different ways the last words of George Floyd, depicted to the left dying from suffocation when a law enforcement officer pinned him to the ground with his knee, To the lower right, a crowd protesting police brutality at a Black Lives Matter demonstration chokes from clouds of tear gas, while doctors in the scene above struggle to keep a patient with respiratory issues alive with a ventilator, as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the country. Angels with face masks hover in the sky above the central image of the Crucifixion. Dixon reminds us how Christ, too, struggled to breathe while dying on the Cross, offering his life in sacrificial love for all of humanity. (John Kohan)