Fresh Paint
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
A Reader Raises His Hand
... politely, in comments, and asks whether my politics and art ever meet.

Thanks, Jason. That's a very good question. I don't really know the answer to it either, except maybe it's a right brain/left brain thing. I've done 3 paintings I consider political in my life:

One was the day after 9/11 (ie, 9/12/01). I went out to the forest preserve and tried to paint the stillness outside and turmoil in my head (if you remember, all the planes were grounded and everyone in the world was glued to their TVs). I worked on that painting a lot, but never could resolve it because I kept getting interested in the usual artsy stuff -- paint, line, composition, etc. etc., rather than subject matter. And I kept feeling guilty that here I am, perfect weather, painting a delightful scene, when so many have died. I put it in a show later, but couldn't put a price on it, because it seemed wrong.

I did a big painting I kept calling "Dancing in Gasoline" during the runup to the attack on Iraq. 4 big gestural figures looking on, or dancing, or something, and one squatting as though to shit, against a stylized landscape. I've always liked gasoline -- the smell of it, the rainbow colors in puddles. I haven't shown it anywhere.

The last "political" painting I did was "Tabloid Landscape," which you can see here, as part of my Kline frenzy of last year. I tried to express in a horrid, lurid painting style what I was feeling about FOX, CNN, etc.

(don't have images of the other 2 paintings handy)

I said I was going to do a companion painting of the NYT, WaPo, etc. but never did. Maybe I should give it a shot.

Finally, here's a little craypas lake I did last Dec 1st, in honor of AIDs victims on the "Day Without Art", about as polemical as it gets:

Now that I've become more comfortable with collage, actual drawing, and photoshop, maybe I'll try something more strident. Attempts in the past always ended up either too New Yorker Cartoon-ish, or like bad 70s feminist solidarity stuff.

Anyway, thanks, Jason. Hope this answers the question. You may sit down now.

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