Artist: Michael Mergen
Project: Confederate Heroes, Confederate Dead
Description: At a moment when national dialogue about the Confederate Flag is prevalent, Michael Mergen’s piece Confederate Heroes, Confederate Dead considers how the South—and particularly Virginia, where he resides—memorializes the Confederacy. Mergen is especially interested in statues of unnamed Confederate soldiers. “I’d seen these statues seemingly everywhere,” he says, “and began to think about the idea of portraits, contemporary portraits, of these unnamed Confederate soldiers who still gaze across county courthouses, town squares, and cemeteries.”
The piece itself is a grid of these portraits; each other image represents a detail of the whole.