ALL AMERICXN :
ALL-AMERICXN explores LANDO GRIFFIN’s idea of a social utopia by highlighting the historical and socio-cultural contribution animation has played in creating racial barriers.
Through no deliberate malintent but by simply being a reflection of the times, the progression and evolution of animation has contributed to the implicit notion of what it means to be “ALL AMERICAN”.
Starting with Bosko and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The former, who was the first Looney Tunes character, is a literal caricature of a southern afro-american who’s identity is not an anthropomorphic character but a direct reference to black face.
Elements of the “Bosko days” carried into more modern cartoon characters with traits such as white gloves. The white gloves were a common requirement of house slaves to avoid the skin of the slave from actually making any physical contact with any items.
Slowly, animation helped create the preconception in the USA that the default race of humans is “white”. Proof of this is the influx of Japanese Anime and the overall American interpretation that the Japanese were drawing caucasian characters. Gō Mifune, meant to be a Japanese professional racer, is incorrectly and widely thought to be an American, known as Speed Racer.
The culmination of this evolving mindset can be seen in the creation of The Simpsons. A world where either white people don’t exist, or the notion of white as a default human being is implied and understood within this seemingly yellow universe.
Keeping in mind that characters like Apu are not yellow.
The skin in the “ALL-AMERICXN” collection has been replaced with a chroming process that allows the spectator’s own color to live within the characters. The pieces are made to look like prints as a challenge and reflection to prejudice, though they are uniques.
The goal of the collection is not to bring forth division but understanding that we are all the same. That race is a social construct and that white/caucasian is not “less ethnic” because it is also an ethnicity.
We are all ethnic.