Peter J. Ketchum


WHAT THE MIRROR SAW (1867-1941) is a mixed media work, 32x20x2. Made with a broken mirror (I broke it by accident) and shards of the mirror glass. I added found b&w photos which were enlarged, cut out (exacto knife) and colored with photo dyes, acrylics, Prisma markers, etc.
In this broken mirror, you can see reflected yourself and some real people who lived sometime between 1867 and 1941. Oh, Jesus is there too. But he's an actor from early a 1900s Passion play. He's here to represent the love one another thing. The words in red are a loose take on 1 Corinthians 13:12. Made even more colloquial, they might say maybe we don't see each other clearly because the mirrors broke. If only we could see each other face to face.
What if we had a real life gathering. Hello, nice to meet you. Then we'd get to know each other better. We might still not want to be best friends. But at least we're talking. Face to face. People of color. White people. Gay people. Old people. Teenagers. You know, a real meet and greet. Ha! If only.
How did the project got underway after I broke the old family mirror? I was thinking of the long line of mostly family members who had actually looked into the mirror over a century and a half. What did they see? And how diverse were the people who reflected in the mirror hanging in the WASP’s nest? Probably not very. Maybe a Catholic maid or other hired help. What if I created diversity for the mirror? And so it went until the mirror more broadly reflected the world. If only.

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