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I remember in 1971 during the prison revolt at Attica, I was at Yale and we didn’t hear too much about it. I can make this work now because I have enough power to do it and no one can tell me anything. When these drawings go out in the world I can have that conversation, I can bring that conversation in.
When I first saw a painting from his “No to Prison Life” series some five years ago, I was deeply moved. Stanley’s insertion of text altered my reaction to the work. Suddenly, the primordial grids and abstract shapes were transformed into a claustrophobic and locked cell. His demand for justice and accountability forbid viewers from looking away.