Jolie Stahl

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Watercolor and collage on Arches 140lb hot-pressed paper
22" x 15"
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Personal Injury
in the green zone

by Jolie Stahl

In the summer of 2007 I made paintings that are a lamentation on the state of business and medicine. I used West African colons as props. Colons are carved, wooden depictions of Africans in the occupational attire of 20th century colonists. They suggest the symbolism of domination. I sliced them into sections and then stacked and reassembled the parts into various tableaux. After weeks of concentrated work I had a suite of 25 watercolors. These paintings were created in the backyard of my mother-in-law's house in Rhode Island. Removed from the insanity of New York City, I contemplated the rawness of urban life in America where everything is bartered and transacted by a cadre of lawyers, doctors, and businessmen.

Personal Injury implies assault & battery, an accident or something catastrophic, maybe defamation, always liability. This idea of medical malpractice also occurred to me over and over again in the course of the peaceful and quiet time spent painting outdoors on the lawn.

In the summer of 2007 the news was never good. Death, destruction, chaos and mercenary armies were all at play daily in Iraq. In the heart of occupied Baghdad alongside the banks of the Tigris River lay another 'green zone' where 21st century colonists conducted their own business of cutting up an entire country and its people into many different parts. It will take decades if not a century or more to reassemble their lives. Meanwhile who will address the personal injuries and malpractice of these insane policies?

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