Friday, February 27, 2015

Wrestling with Wayne

I was speaking with a friend the other day who sits on his town's city council.  Not local, just so we're clear.  And he spoke in a slightly disparaging manner about his neighbors.  I responded by saying they weren't neighbors, they were constituents.  And he should be thinking good things about them, generally speaking, since his job was to help guide their mutual community in a positive direction.

He had some good things to say in rebuttal of this, and it got me thinking about my painting of Wayne LaPierre.  Which looked like this about a week ago ...

I post this because I'm about to white out all the annotations and I thought a public record of Version 1 would be a good idea.

In the end, the whole thing speaks to a general disappointment in what people have to say when they write on my paintings.  This isn't a new thing -- long ago I started whiting out comments like "I Love New York" and crap of that ilk.  You think I'm doing this for my fucking health?  If you're going to write something, write something worthwhile.

So angered, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  It looks like this now ...

The change being that I found a website that listed the top 25 mass shootings in US history, I then researched the victims and added their names (red for fatalities; black for wounded) in a willy-nilly manner all about the painting plus, in bold type, if that's the right term, the locations and dates of the shootings.

The idea was a good one, but the execution was terrible.  I decided something as serious as this merited a better rendition of the names.  So, in about an hour, I will have whited-out the entire background, leaving just this ...

I will then re-enter the names of the victims in as orderly a manner as I am able, given that I'm writing on canvas with a sharpie, and printing has never been my strongest suit.  

I think it will be better that way.

1 comment:

  1. GVR, As a previous customer of your work, I was curious if I could order a copy of your Wayne Lapierre piece. However I was curious if it could be annotated with the names of all of the people whose lives were saved because of their use of a gun. It may be harder to compile such a list, however for the past 40 years or so the NRA has published a column in their magazines called "The Armed Citizen" which has each month chronicled ten or twelve armed citizens who have fended off home intruders, would be rapists and the like. I suppose you’d also have to include the odd individual who was able to thwart the occasional bear, mountain lion, snake etc. that would have caused them harm. Do people who hunt for sustenance also count? I should think so as they have been able to hunt for food with firearms so as to survive. Not many perhaps in this day in age, but they shouldn’t be left out. Perhaps you could do an Annotated Mary Barra or some other auto industry executive given the number of people they kill every year in automobiles…… wait, no that won’t work as it is not nearly sensational enough for the media that made the list of shooting victims available. Congratulations…. You got me to respond….. We still have to get together with Ken some time! Best regards, Joe