4.5 x 6.5, ink and Pantone Marker on canvas paper
Alrighty, first off, the vernissage went really really well! So glad to see so many familiar (and not-so-familiar) faces. From family to friends to strangers, the evening was spent in the company of great people. I met some folks that I hope to hear from and am so glad I got to speak to some new and interesting people! So all in all a success! (Oh, and of course, I managed to sell some works which is definitely a plus!)
The works I've decided to post today are the last from the show that I have yet to post on here*... My Dino-Popes and Big Baby J series. These ink+pantone drawings were done around 1:00am out of a need to step away from my paintings just a few nights before the art show and, much to my surprise, they were some of my most popular works! I attribute their popularity mainly to a combination of the subject matter and placement of the frames (see above photo).
The message is fairly straight forward: papacy = prehistory. Now for the slightly more subtle nuances: the way the works were placed had it so the popes were turned towards Jesus (who was also a dinosaur of course) in a way that emphasized their devotion to/praise of this single figure, as well as the symbol of the cross. My main inspiration was the over-ornamentation/decoration of popes, which is in direct contradiction with one of the most basic Christian beliefs, namely humility, which is most easily exhibited externally by means of the simplicity of one's clothes. The papacy has always been known for its extravagance, from the concentration of wealth in Rome to the mere outfits/costumes/hats of the popes. Even though the idea that the people's money goes towards lavishly decorating a pope and his buildings in order to better praise the LORD seems like a reasonable argument to some, my feelings regarding the papal figure are not so optimistic... to say the least.
I've always felt there was something fishy about the idea of a religious institution organized and kept up in a political manner in the sense that the most "popular" participants are voted into different offices, ranked hierarchically from Pope to Cardinal, etc. AND yet still consider themselves a source of legitimate authority by claiming divine ordination. Maybe I lack faith in humans (or simply in general) but I have a hard time believing that that the type of charisma required to become/be elected as Pope is much different than the kind required to become a successful politician... UNLESS of course you believe that this one man's particularly appealing charisma was given to him BY GOD so that only he could possibly become the intermediary between earthlings and an all-knowing, all-being and eternally unified God existing outside of both space and time.
At this point I feel like my rant might be slowly moving down a slippery pope-bashing slope. So in order to keep my sarcasm to a minimum and my blog somewhat intelligent, I will conclude in a quick, clean and fashionable manner.
SO, in conclusion! While Hegel believed that history had reached its pinnacle before the end of his lifetime in 1831 (meaning human existence had achieved it's end-goal of freedom, which in turn meant that progress was no longer possible), Marx believed that until humans still participated in/contributed to oppression our existence would continue to consist of "pre-history". It is that belief that informed my choice to portray the papacy as a group of prehistoric symbols of oppression. And if you simply can't find a link between the papacy, the Roman Catholic Church and oppression, please, PLEASE e-mail me and we'll figure out a good time to meet up and talk about this over tea.
Ok, take care folks!xo
*Except a few more dogs.