The Labor of Love

Conrad Egyir's avatar Conrad Egyir

The Labor of Love is a triptych based on Labor Day, and the day Emmett Till lost his life. The theme, narrative, and title is derived from the proximity of these two revered dates on our calendar. It revisits and contextualizes the paradigms of stewardship, and love for universal human flourishing, juxtaposed to notions of individual and collective labor used for upholding American values and dreams within a transcultural framework. Borrowing from the tragic and iconic funeral scene of Mamie Till’s “open casket”, is a reincarnated and younger Emmitt Till years before his death, resituated next to his onlooking parents. On both sides of the central painting are allegories of what present day or future interpretations of labor and love might mean. Woven between the fabric of this narrative are borrowed symbolic aesthetics from West Africa (adinkra symbols), anachronisms from American culture, and themes that define the then and the now, differences and similarities, and the image and the self.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 2 inches
  • Medium: Oil, and mounted plexiglass and wood on canvas
  • Width: 22 feet
  • Year created: 2018
  • Height: 8 feet