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Judith Beheading an Idea
Acrylic and oil paint on collaged canvases
36” x 44”
The iconic “Judith Slaying Holofernes” is a biblical story from Catholicism about a woman named Judith beheading Holofernes, an Assyrian general. The painting has had many renditions, such as Artemesia Gentileschi portraying herself as Judith, beheading her assaulter or Kehinde Wiley rendering a Black woman decapitating a “Karen.” To add to these renditions, McGill depicts an abstract version of the “beheading” of an idea. Whistle blows such as Patriarchy, Racism, and Homophobia are simply that: ideas that get lodged in our minds in unseen places and with unknown consequences. They play out in our actions as scary, cruel, and hateful behavior unbeknownst to us. How do we behead something that does not have a body?
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