Artist George McCalman Lays Bare White Racial Apathy in ‘Return to Sender’

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 (Peter Prato)

In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, San Francisco-based artist George McCalman says that just as he was processing his own grief and anger, he found himself deluged with calls and emails from white acquaintances. Some of the messages expressed concern, but too many were clueless and empty, reflecting what he calls "an echo chamber of fragility." For his latest project, McCalman collected the phases that triggered him the most -- such as "Here if you ever want to talk" or "For your selfcare" -- and created paintings to reveal the "garish truth" that underlay them. We’ll talk to McCalman about his show, called “Tell Me Three Things I Can Do/Return To Sender."


George McCalman, artist and creative director; author of the San Francisco Chronicle's Observed column. His recent project is "Tell Me Three Things I Can Do /Return to Sender." His forthcoming book 'Illustrated Black History' will be published in 2021.