“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” ― George Orwell, 1984
9″x 14″-ink on paper
I say this with full knowledge that I could pull a fistful from a grab bag of ominous portent since Inauguration day, but one of the most distressing things in the wake of Trumpocalypse is the continued willingness of his supporters to be completely blinkered by their cultish loyalty. Even in the face, it seems, in what are glaring, verifiable truths.
I’ve seen this on the other side also-and I get it, there’s comfort to be had in the consensus of delusion that no matter how much your party lies, it will never tell porkies as big as the opposition.
Except to say that within the space of a few days when both his strategist and press secretary have owned up to deploying a mind-boggling multiverse of ‘alternative truths’, even when challenged on the veracity of crowd size and voting fraud, one need not pole jump to reach for the dark specter of Orwellian doublethink or 2+2=5.
Indeed, I read today that the book that was meant to be a parable of dystopian fiction, is currently a best seller. Old George would be stoked were it not the reason for the season.
I mean fuck me, dip into any page and you could pull out a passage that could be a manifesto to the times we live in. I found at least a dozen in the first few minutes of prefacing this page.
Which is why I knocked together this little drawing ‘The blind patriot will eat himself’, portraying as it does the self-cannibalism and mental gymnastics that the nationalist will go to in service of the body national.
My continued plunder through old Adam Curtis documentaries particularly feels like watching a play by play.
“And because the constitution of a mans Body, is in continuall mutation; it is impossible that all the same things should alwayes cause in him the same Appetites, and aversions; much lesse can all men consent, in the Desire of almost any one and the same Object.
Or the great metaphysical war between Hitler and Van Gogh, two historical figures parallel in the singularity of their ambitions, both failed artists within their lifetime, yet so divided in that failures resolution. Be it Ego or Id, creator or destructor, the paradox of dualism is manifest.
I realise I’m putting Descartes before the horse here.
I suppose they represent Post-contemporary paragons of the underdog, framing the entire 20th century and beyond. certainly when thinking of Van Gogh as the Godfather of Modern Art, there is the notion that there is some nobility in failure, when the truth so often comes at a cost whether the destruction that manifests is internal or as in Hitler’s case external. I have to say, a lot of my thinking was informed by reading Artaud’s “Van Gogh: The man suicided by society” Particularly the haunting lines:
“Nobody ever wrote or painted, sculpted, modeled, built, invented, for another reason than to exit from hell. Each paint brush touch/strike (coup de pinceau) on the canvas is worst than an event.”
And yet Adolf had the presence of twisted mind to obliterated that “self-event” by creating Hell on Earth.
Lennon (the fuhrer’s antithesis) said it best when he confessed: “part of me suspects I am a loser, the other part God almighty.”
As I said previously here, it’s taken the best part of five years to bring it to some realisation but given that I completed it a week before the inauguration, the theme is eerily resonant-conjoined twins of diametrically opposed worldview, battling as Babylon falls like a sandcastle, whilst the architect King Nimrod (also an allusion to that other Nimrod totem of destruction) self-combusts in his zealous appetite to reorder the universe.
Having just watched Adam Curtis’s Hypernormalisation and read a recent interview where he perhaps wrongly charges the art world with some of the responsibility for the post-truth, Brexit / Trump outcome, it behooves me to wonder how we as artists can best characterize what we do, given the events and influences that inform us.
The painting will be on show alongside other artists works for Chet Zars Conjoined 7 show at Copro Gallery from January 21st.
In which a selection of dark, underworld beasts, demonic progeny, and feral fiends shall assemble before a hypnotized throng. No I’m not talking about the inauguration, but Chet Zar’s annual Conjoined show at Copro gallery in L.A of which I shall be honorably participating.
The show opens on the 21’st January, and since at the time of writing, I am still putting the final touches to my largest piece to date, I better get my skates on.
Bergamot Arts Complex,
2525 Michigan Ave T5,
Santa Monica, CA 90404