Oil on canvas-42″ x 80″
“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.