The Lion of Juddah is Rising
Artists: Philip Salamone and DarRen Morris, with assistance from Palma Maya-Johnson
LOCATION: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, Wisconsin.
PHOTO: Martin Jenich
I chose to use this as an opportunity to share the work of a friend of mine, DarRen Morris, who is an artist and inmate up in Green Bay who was sentenced to life in prison at age 17.
I also aimed to address some of the shameful, racist policies and implementation of them that exist in Wisconsin’s criminal justice system. This painting is a recreation of an original painting by DarRen titled, “The Lion of Judah is Rising.”
In his words, “This piece is about surrender and acceptance. It was painted around the time my granny died. It was calling people to look into my eyes. Processing my grief, I had said my Rasta prayers and I let Jah spirit rise and take me from my darkness.”