Good Mourning, America is a series of representational works by artist Daniel Hibbert exploring the realities of the Black experience in America. In his newest series, Hibbert touches an array of topics and emotions ranging from police brutality to the complexities of class in the African-American community. Good Mourning, America uses a dramatic monochromatic palette, provoking thought primarily through shades and textures of black. The all-black palette masterfully serves multiple purposes for the viewer. In his piece entitled “Post-Blackness”, Hibbert uses varied textures and finishes to promote an appreciation for the rich diversity that exists within the term “Black”. In his large-scale piece “16 Shots”, the all-black palette inspires a feeling of mourning for the loss of Laquan McDonald, the 17-year-old boy fatally shot 16 times by the Chicago Police Department while walking away.
Vibrant reds, blues, and greens are only introduced on the profile of each canvas, serving to support the emotion underlying each piece. Hibbert’s decision to introduce color only on the canvas profile serves as an ironic commentary on American society. Color, in Good Mourning, America, is only a secondary consideration, one which must be observed in the oblique. The artist forces the viewer to appreciate each piece without considering its color first. In addition to inspiring emotion, the series also aims to promote dialogue on difficult topics such as mass incarceration and the oscillatory nature of social progress. Through his work, Hibbert is able to provoke thought without forcing an agenda; viewers are encouraged to arrive at their own conclusions. Hibbert is quoted as saying, “I want people to view this series and have conversations that they wouldn’t normally have. If I can breakdown walls of discomfort with this series, I will have considered it successful.”