Reaching Out - A metaphor for our hearts, a repository of all we hold dear. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Hargrove became passionate about what we as Americans hold dear to us-our values, our freedom, and our families. One element of "Freedom" has a special appeal for Hargrove: Lady Liberty, one of the first sights he saw upon his arrival in America nearly 30 years ago. As the War on Terrorism escalated, Hargrove felt the need to capture the essence of what America was feeling, what he himself was feeling. Thus, he returned to his easel to create the beautifully stark "Reaching Out." The painting, a monochrome with only the faintest touches of color, depicts the Statue of Liberty in an alcove such as one might see reserved for statuary in a church. Instead of standing tall, she is on one knee, the torch of freedom cradled on her other knee, her free hand reaching forward and creating a three-dimensional effect. Her face seems as stoic as ever, but upon inspection a tear can be seen falling from one eye. The painting works on many levels. Is the Lady reaching out for help in America's time of need? Or is she reaching out instead to comfort Americans in their time of need? Is her tear a manifestation of sorrow or compassion? Could it be both? Does her place in a marble alcove elevate her to a kind of secular sainthood? Hargrove does not (or will not) lend his own interpretation to the scene, leaving it up to each individual observer. He will only say that creating "Reaching Out" has provided him with a healing catharsis. Others who have seen the original have expressed the same emotion, whatever their interpretations. Beautifully framed and autograph by the artist.
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