4. WORK FROM 2001-2007 > Sky, Mud and Bones 2002

Title: Fleur du Mal

Media: dye on silk, American Flag, sewn silk pieces
Size: 36"x60"

From the very beginning of the L’Homme du Sud (Man of the South) series we were determined to address all of the aspects of the southern environment - even those that were unflattering and despicable. Racism in the south and in Louisiana has been ever-present. Though the region of Acadiana has had far less racism in its past compared to other areas in the state, it exists in small, secret pockets just as it does in every state in the union.
Fleur du Mal shows an exquisite white lily on a field of gold. An equal size black and red panel is opposite. In between and connecting both is a portion of an American flag turned upside down. The symbolism of the white lily is obvious and has many symbolic parallels in many places including the bible. The black and red panel represents the sleeve of a KKK robe. Our research for this piece revealed that the color of the robe and the stripes indicates the position and rank of the wearer. In this case it represents a nighthawk enforcer. The upside down flag is a military symbol of distress. The title refers to a book of poems by the great french poet Baudilaire. The title literally means “sick flower” or “bad flower.”

Fleur du Mal, KKK, American Flag
Fleur du Mal
dye on silk, American flag
36in. x 60in.
2002