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Hannan Greg

MURDER CAPE (Home Fries Series), 1993

Every criminal subculture has its symbology, a system of epaulets designed to inform, entice, enrage adversaries or friends, and often used to mark a criminal rite of passage. Examples include a tear shaped tattoo, placed in the corner of the eye, to signify that the individual so marked had murdered someone. In the D.C. ghetto such a moniker involved a slightly turbaned stocking worn on the head, the length of which draped down the back of the wearers neck, barely touching his shoulders – a murder cape. 5+0 is the symbol for the gang that hangs at 5th and 0 Streets, N.W.; three blocks from my home. In the course of three years the entire gang was decimated through the common attrition of the ghetto. Many have died of gunshot wounds; others are serving long, murder-related prison sentences, still others represent a new class of adult men, ensconced once again on their corners, their “turf”, but now in wheelchairs; the victims of paralyzing gunshot wounds.
MURDER CAPE (Home Fries Series), 1993 acrylic / silkscreen / on wood 89.5”x 75.5” Private collection Cincinnati