Dec 10, 2020 - Sale 2554

Sale 2554 - Lot 211

Price Realized: $ 12,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 12,000 - $ 18,000
James Baldwin Born into A Lie #3.

Quilt with appliqué, including African fabrics, buttons and textile paint, 2019. 1778x1372 mm; 70x54 inches. Signed and dated in ink, lower left recto. Signed, titled, dated and inscribed "70x54" in ink on a fabric label, verso.

Provenance: collection of the artist, New York.

Statement from artist Michael A. Cummings: "To be born in a free society and not to be born free is to be born into a lie. To be told by co-citizens and co-Christians that you have no value, no history, have never done anything that is worthy of human respect destroys you because in the beginning you believe it."

James A. Baldwin

This art quilt #3 was created after reading James Baldwin's statement above. I was so moved by his observations that I decided to pay homage to this great American. Being African American myself, I felt his pain and disappointment. I embarked on a journey to translate his words into a quilt. I started with an idea to make one quilt, however, my imagination expanded, and I moved to additional quilts. There are four quilts in this series each with variations. Each quilt has symbols of icons that are prevalent in American society. I included the American flag, Confederate flag, and Christian cross. I used a red x on all four faces. X symbolizes rejection, exclusion, invisibility, not correct, wrong color and segregation from freedom to vote or live where you choose. I also placed the title of Langston Hughes poem in the Quilt "I, Too, Am America." This poem also brings into focus what Baldwin was referring to in his statement. Quilt #2 in this series was shown on a PBS program in December 2019 called Crafts in America. Quilt #1 in this series is now in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture's Art Collection, New York."