Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.”
Wrath Oil on Canvas 36″ x 48″
And so a bloodied harbinger, one of John of Patmos’s magic mushroom induced four. Like a butchers castoff wrenched from the pit of Hades, gallops the crimson steed stripped of its artifices. Give it up then for deaths own points man, here to cleave empires into ferocious war and division. Hooray! Here he is, sporting the latest fall fashions- jodhpurs and jackboots, along with a swordfish head resembling a Klansman’s hood or a papal Mitre: a false crown for hell’s Borgia general: the preferred head dress of demagogues and blood thirsty zealots. There’s enough in the capes fountain to quench them I believe. And if there’s any doubt as to which festering dark stable unleashed our Mr (D)Ed, then a blind, rabid diamondback coils from the animated corpses cold dead fist – Gadsen’s relic co-opted as every risible little bumper sticker-now waving into view like Satan’s own spewing cock.
If after all of that, you missed the carrion call of our horseback messenger, the lightning bolt clutched aloft also trebles as a Sig rune, cross and spear of destiny. Talk about the unholy trinity of Swiss army knives eh? No prizes for guessing what fireworks awaits at the finish line, but I’d wear sunblock if I were you.
Yes, I realize I’m posting this on Independence day, but look-I began this one on 12,21,12- the Aztec dooms date-so this piece was forged for these end times. So here we are, July 4th baring down upon this once great nation like funerary pallbearer-one more last supper culminating in a glittering firecracker of whizz bang and char grilled offal. How depressingly apt, eh? Two plus millennia that includes a historical cannon of almost mythological prowess-names like Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy echoing through the grand halls of history, all diminished by the wet, shrill, reverberating fart of a coiffed, bloviating, bowel, tweeting in an ill fitting suit. An ignoble and all too fitting end I suppose, if only because the American dream has become a nightmare.
If we’re all still here come November, it’ll be on view at Copro’s upcoming Underworld group show.
“O, what a world of unseen visions and heard silences, this insubstantial country of the mind! What ineffable essences, these touchless rememberings and unshowable reveries! And the privacy of it all! A secret theater of speechless monologue and prevenient counsel, an invisible mansion of all moods, musings, and mysteries, an infinite resort of disappointments and discoveries.”
― Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
“George and the Dragon-a bicameral battle” oil on canvas 16″ x 20″
I alluded in my last post that there was something of an ode to the current plight of my dear old Blighty. The bitter rancor that has been the seismic divide post austerity Brexit. That’s there of course, the mythic ‘saint’ George fighting the scourge of some um-diagnosed disease on the provision the bedeviled populace convert to Christendom. Dragon or savior, hell or heaven, do or die. Take your pick, socialism or fascism, infidel or jingoist, sinner or slave. You get my drift.
Also there of course, is the pretty explicit nod to those internal battles-those primal beasts summoned from self loathing cauldrons, shrieking destruction back at us from reflected, churning waters. Our Janus head peering from a cracked, darkened mirror.
Moreover I feel, it acknowledges the undefinable, fuzzy area between the states of consciousness and what Julian Jaynes coined as the bicameral mind. It’s the legacy of metaphysical transformation through the artist’s experience, or at least my own. That razors edge labyrinth we walk, traversing domains of the known and the unseen. Automatons to our visual and hallucinatory impulses, and yet mindful of the physical world that constrains us.
It’ll be on show for the forthcoming Heavy Metal, 40th anniversary group show, from July 15th at Copro Gallery.