Untitled- Digital Collage 6" x 4"

My portraits of slave children sparked fierce debate in the art world. Some critics regarded them as exploitation. Others argued that if such exploitation existed in the works then it was surely intended to be ironic. A good friend asked how I could spend hours with these unfortunate children only to leave when a work was completed.Did I feel no sense of responsibility to rescue them? Was it right for me to grow rich from such works? I responded, "I did not make this situation. If anything my work brings to light this little discussed topic." "Yes,"she replied, "But by painting them in beautiful settings you negate any social critique." "I am an artist," I'd say, "Nothing more." My words seemed to wound her. "Nothing more, indeed," she said rising from her chair and took her leave.