Daily Special

Decisions of Freedom
Ashley Doggett
Decisions of Freedom
2020 | oil and acrylic on canvas | 20x18 | $1500

The artwork of Nashville-based artist Ashley Doggett makes a powerful punch by confronting American historical teachings of race, slavery, and gender and digs deeper within them to problematize how they are told today by dominant but tangential voices. Doggett's work opens the dialogue on falsified narratives and asks her viewers to look inward to evaluate our behavior, language, and understandings of freedom, justice, and equality on philosophical levels.

Decisions of Freedom is where we get some philosophy 101– stick with us, it's worth it. The figure in the composition holds three elements of entrapment: lock, key, and chain. While the key rests in one hand, the chain remains locked in place around the other– a contradiction of physical freedom. "With a stoic, distant expression, the figure is both preoccupied with internal thought and physical repose," Doggett writes. "If one can truly be the source of their own psychological, physical, or otherwise metaphysical freedom, should one lounge with their allegorical lock and key in tow?" Sweeping lines and swaths of fantastical colors provoke the metaphorical, mythical, moral, allegorical tone of this philosophy lesson. But as Doggett's work constantly reminds us, we know these are the right and difficult questions to be asking.

Doggett's work does not back down from difficult conversations or revealing the wounds of our histories, and we are better for it. Tuning out the haters who (fearfully) request Doggett to “tone it down," she makes work that reveals the unvarnished reality of our country and demands folks join the conversation. Do your part and follow her on Instagram (@theashleydoggett) where she regularly serves up great art, hot takes, and cheeky memes.

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