This piece is designed to represent the connection between power and violence.Using gunpowder to depict the iconic Black Panther Fist energizes the symbol visually, physically and emotionally while creating an immediacy in the smell of sulfur and burnt canvas, but there is also meaning in the choice of the gunpowder I used for the piece; Hodgdon HP-38 Smokeless Powder (pictured at right) is used in a wide variety of hand guns deployed by the police, those resisting the police and those who commit violence against humans generally.
In the finished piece there is a connection between the violence perpetrated by the police, the violence used by the Black Panthers and the violence done to the Black Panthers by their rivals (Huey P. Newton, for instance, was the victim of a handgun.)
I refer to the process I use to create this work as Gunpowder Gutenberg. I carve a design into a wood "plate" which I pack with gunpowder and place on my custom designed and built Gunpowder Printing Press. I then press a canvas into the packed plate and detonate the gunpowder into the canvas to create the sharp lines and trails of smoke that define the image.