The intent of the series is to combat discrimination and to show that interracial couples also lead “loving lives worthy of consideration.”
Love does not discriminate. In its pure form, it can be witnessed between same-sex couples, partners of different ethnicities, and amidst (consenting) individuals of various ages. It’s this message that Minneapolis-based artist Leslie Barlow seeks to remind the world and she does this through her artwork.
In a series entitled Loving, Barlow depicts ordinary moments between real-life interracial couples to explore identity, multiculturalism and issues of representation. Her ultimate aim is to show that love is diverse and doesn’t need to be labeled – nor should it be.
The oil painting series is named after Loving v Virginia, which was a groundbreaking, anti-discrimination Supreme Court case. The artist wants mixed race relationships to become normalized and for discrimination against various partnerships to dissolve.
In one painting, a family snuggles together and enjoys the presence of their loved ones. In another, a couple converses while clutching wine glasses. Each intimate depicting causes one to conclude that interracial couples also lead “loving lives worthy of consideration.” Barlow told the Huffington Post:
“My work is about having agency over the representation of my story and stories like mine. It’s a sharing of experiences we don’t often see.”
“I want each painting to be unique, but to also have this thing in common of feeling normal,” she added. “The paintings felt mundane in the best of ways. That’s what I want, to normalize these images.”
A sampling of paintings from Leslie Barlow’s Loving series follow:
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