Janice McDonnell, Christina Riggs, 2010-2011. Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
Janice McDonnell writes: “Since the death penalty was reinstated in this country in 1976 twelve women have been executed… Drawing from John singer Sargent’s portraiture for inspiration, I’ve recast these women in the role of socialites; portraying them in a new, genteel light, elevating their status in our society, and confronting the treatment of the privileged in today’s world. Their crimes were heinous, and their victims were real. And while not condoning their acts of violence, I question our double standards on how we as society judge its members.”