With virtually all media attention shifted to the coronavirus outbreak, no small number of serious matters have left the public consciousness—certainly understandable. But one pressing situation in particular has been the worsening homeless crisis in Los Angeles, surely only exacerbated by the realities of life during the pandemic.
To refocus attention on the problem, Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro has teamed up with Punk Rock & Paintbrushes to offer 100 signed prints of his strikingly poignant work More Government Care, the sale of which will raise money for the LA-based Sidewalk Project, whose work is specifically about improving the lives of those living without shelter. Most recently, they have been active in securing masks for healthcare workers and the homeless they have been tending to.
The piece was originally created in 2019, and exhibited in New York at Mana Contemporary (watch a video on its creation here). It was meant to draw attention to the border situation, where detainees, most shockingly children, have been forced into dire circumstances.
“It was conceived at the height of the border crisis conversation,” Navarro explains, “while facts about the treatment of the children had begun to surface—and the lack of humanity. Children were separated from their parents and the country was outraged to see such atrocities.”
Of course, COVID-19 has only made their predicament worse, especially as so many resources have been decidedly shifted elsewhere.
Navarro concludes, “When this piece was done in 2019, I had hoped for it to be a commentary on a very small window in our history. Today, in 2020, it speaks with more volume.”