On Art

Exodus: Journeys of Liberation, by Carl Dixon

Carl Dixon, a self-taught artist from Mississippi, considers his mixed-media, sculpted wood paintings to be works of “testimony art,” sharing the great narratives of the Bible, significant moments from the African American experience, and his life story and religious faith. These themes all come together in his epic-sized, single-panel triptych depicting journeys of liberation. To the left in the carved painting, Moses leads the children of Israel through the Red Sea, miraculously parted to allow their escape from Egypt. In a parallel image on the right, Harriet Tubman, nicknamed “Moses” for her role in leading African Americans out of slavery, keeps watch as a group of freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad reaches the banks of the Ohio River, dividing the South from the North. At the edge of the sheltering forest, Barack Obama, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr., resembling faces on Mount Rushmore, pay homage to their forerunner on the road to freedom and civil rights. At the heart of the trio of images, Dixon presents Christ exiting the tomb on Easter Sunday morning in what Dixon describes as “the ultimate journey of liberation from death to new life.”