Escape Is Not An Option, Illustration
Message behind the art:
The Cambodian Flower series visually represents the emotional journey child victims of the Cambodian sex trafficking trade go through in their life. The chaos of dark colors surrounding these girls portrays the deep feelings of rejection and abandonment as girls are sold by their own family members including brothers, cousins, and even mothers to pedophiles from all over the world. The artist, Shane Grammer, used pink to represent purity and innocence in the first painting of the series, but when Grammer learned that one of the most famous brothels had a pink room dedicated specifically for virgin girls, the color took on another meaning. The pink not only stands for innocence, it also represents the exploitation of that innocence. The flowers surrounding each girl is a symbol of that girl’s purity, that no matter how abused and exploited, she is still a beautiful Cambodian flower. The bright yellows, oranges and whites are used to capture the hope each girl has of restoration. Even though the Cambodian Flower girl feels ruined and beyond redemption, the truth is they are still pure like the Cambodian Flowers that surround them, and that their purity will be transformed in a way that allows them to rise above the horror they have experienced.