Acclaimed African artist Faith XLVII recently blessed Skid Row, Los Angeles, with new mural, dubbed “Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto”.
The large-scale public installation adorns a city wall, where America’s most marginalized people — the homeless — are camped out. With Skid Row being home to one of the largest populations of homeless people in the U.S., with an estimated 2,500 people living on the streets within its 4-square-mile radius, the art work seems fitting.
“Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto” translates to “the welfare of the people shall be the supreme law”, and is a critique on the capitalistic dream that lacks institutional empathy for non-active participants.
“the work is a continuation of a recent video installation in Jacksonville Florida titled ‘By Virtue Of’. We’re taking a deeper look at the blind spot in which we as a society fail to engage on a humanistic level with those less fortunate,” said Faith XLVII.
“One of the things that shocked me when I moved to the USA was the amount of homelessness and the lack of support for people in need,” she added. “With tax cuts going directly to the rich, social services being reduced and the unaffordable cost of healthcare, one can see that homelessness is symptomatic of deeper fundamental policies that will become a much larger problem if the root causes are not addressed.”
Faith’s mural was produced by Colabs, a visual arts consulting firm and production company specializing in socially conscious installations and content.