Most people assume that when the 13th Amendment was passed that slavery ended. Sadly, this isn't completely true. There has always been a type of "servant" towards an upperclassmen, whether it be an actual slave, servant, maid, worker, cleaner, etc. Even to this day, there is basically the same thing as a slave. When someone needs to pay back someone and they aren't wealthy enough to pay it off with money, they can work it off. Most of the time it's the amount of money that wouldn't be able to be payed off in a lifetime. This is currently a problem in our world so I wanted to do something simple yet effective to portray this terrible situation.
So I took pictures of my peers', teacher's and family's hands cupped like they are waiting to be giving something, begging almost. However, in the top hands it could just be so filled with money or gold or whatever it may be. Then, I printed them out (each one in black and white and color) and placed them on the canvas to see what I liked.
So I ended up choosing the black and white ones because I didn't really want skin color to be a factor whatsoever. I placed them so I could do a waterfall type thing with money trickling down to the bottom hand which would be the least wealthy.
Next, I added the pennies in the trickling waterfall type thing I had planned. I had the shinier pennies at the top to just emphasize the idea of wealthiest and cleanliness of people. I really loved the pennies on it but I felt like it needed something in the background. I really liked the white space though and I didn't want anything to take away from the hands.
So to keep the white space and still add something more to it but not overpower it. I added slavery newspaper articles to the background and glued them on and then painted over them with hite paint to take away from the straight up black and white.