~ Sorry, Not for Sale - One-Of-A-Kind Artwork! ~
This piece is incredibly important to me and was originally going to be titled "Every Child is Beautiful" or "Love Every Child." My wife suggested "United Colors of America" because my use of color in this work was quite deliberate, and the word "color" in the title is also related to race as much as it is to visual hues. This is my take on the somewhat cheesy but very true phrase "There is only one race: the human race." As my subject matter, I purposely chose children of different races - several of mixed race - but in reality, apart from a tiny handful of indigenous peoples scattered around the world that make up less than 1% of the world's population, everyone on the planet is a descendant of different races, which is exactly the point. Many people seem to forget this. Beyond that, there are people and administrations out there who have no compassion for children who happened to be born in less-than-ideal situations, especially those who look different from them; I happen to believe this is unacceptable. I believe that every child is beautiful, that every child deserves an equal chance to succeed. Rather than find four random attractive kids to paint, I chose children who I personally know and/or know their parents, and feel are stellar representatives of the human race; I'm super grateful to the children's parents for being a part of this artwork. The last child on the right is my youngest son, Mateo, who is the heart and soul of our little family, a truly pure and good soul, who has many traits of his late abuelito, one of the most amazing human beings I have ever known. To go back to my use of color, for each child I purposely used two completely different colors for their faces, as opposed to two tones of the same color, this being a symbol of how we are all a wonderful mix of colors. And I specifically chose colors that all work together in harmony, fundamentally, not just for aesthetic purposes, but to represent a harmonious hope for the future of all children.