The idea for Many Crosses came to me during the election season of 2012. I had been working to create posters supporting California’s Proposition 34, and I began to consider how common crucifixion had been as a form of the death penalty in Jesus’ time. It was not reserved only for Jesus, but used as a public display of power and authority to oppress the people.
I imagined crosses, spanning over hills into the far horizon, each one representing a life taken. Some of the crucified have loved ones to comfort them, others are alone. Guards, in suits of armor, carry spears as they watch over the condemned.
I made this artwork as a prayer for the end of the death penalty.
Because Swanson printed giclee editions in smaller batches, only those printed during his lifetime are signed by the artist. The remaining prints from the edition are made using the same image he created and approved, but with his signature printed where he would have signed them.