146 Pieces of Lace (The Triangle Factory Fire), 2011
oil on canvas, x 24 x 40 x 2", Duration Variable
March 25, 1911 - The Triangle Factory Fire in New York City - 146 garment workers perished in a fire because of faulty fire escapes, narrow hallways, and lack of a sprinkler system. Many were also trapped inside because the door was locked to keep workers from stealing pieces of lace. Firefighters were unable to reach the eighth floor with their ladders; onlookers watched in horror as many workers jumped and crashed to the ground. Many of the victims, mostly immigrant women, were labor activists who had been beaten and arrested for striking for safe and humane working conditions. Mass grief and outrage was felt across the nation and the Triangle Fire became a rallying cry for the international labor movement. Today these same working conditons exist in Third World factories where most of our clothing is made.