Blood of the Iron Horse
collage--postage stamps, paint, varnish
(see Artist's Statement below)
The concept for Blood of the Iron Horse came
about after I placed a Buffalo Bill stamp next to a Red Cloud
stamp on several letters. I was struck by the irony of our
government's simultaneous commemoration of a man who epitomized
the Manifest Destiny doctrine and a man who was a leader of
the victims of that doctrine. I decided to use those stamps
along with stamps representing various vehicles of westward
expansion, to depict a dying Bison-another victim of the Manifest
The belief that we have a right to that which
we can conquer is deep-rooted. It is often couched in terms
of religion, economics, progress, or nationalism, but ultimately
it is greed. It is an attitude that, throughout history, has
been applied to land, animals, and people.
An analogous belief is that growth equals
progress. A frequently heard variation, usually applied to
business, is "grow or die". Those who espouse these
beliefs tend to view growth with a narrow field of vision.
It is rare that growth or change has only positive consequences.
Those who stand to benefit from the change may present only
the positive side, but as a society we must take a broader
point of view.
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