Trumpsfusion oil on canvas 70 x 100 cmm 2020Ok, so this is a commission, right? Up to now I’ve never gotten into painting anything that carries opinions attached that can remotely be considered political, I believe it’s fair to say I usually eschew anything too attached to current issues, even. So if I treat my themes in a comfortable first renaissance, baroque and maybe up to romantic period manner, meaning they could mostly have been tackled in a similar manner back then, what am I doing rounding up degraded pop star icon Mickael and up-and-coming entertainer Donald in one of my gigs? Truth be told, it’s all about money.
Yeah, I’ve been by and large lucky in being mostly able to make a living and a small name for myself by painting what I desire to paint, which is nothing to take for granted, even nowadays when artists are supposed to be unbounded in their freedom.. in my own petite view to inconclusive results. Right, that’s a vast theme for another post. About this painting, then, it’s a commission unlike any I’ve had so far, an eclectic set you won’t be finding in my blog comprised of portraits, Russian icons (really, with gold leaf and all the toppings!), a sepia rendering of a weightlifter from the beginning of the 1900, devotional saint images, several motives derived from my own personal work, already derived from so many sources, and some other I’d rather forget.
But this is a first. Maybe I ought to state my general thoughts on political and propagandistic art, including that made with the intention of denouncing or arguing about someone or something. The only sort of instances where I think that makes sense is in satire, there being odd cases of political or social comment that make it worth knowing the circumstances of production. Mostly though art is great in spite of the monarchic/socialist/national/gendered or whatsoever twist and drive of the piece. That’s my opinion, almost identical to the importance of the theme, relationship of the artist to subjects and so on. More on that if it’s demanded in the comments.
Now about this painting, again. I got the commission, nudged the details a bit, (at first Michael was in his all white avatara) and of course chose the fantastic title. My biggest twist was in setting the whole nightmarish transmutation in a sort of alchemical bathtub, it gives the piece that unholy-ritual-gone-wrong feel, where Donald seems to be getting a different outcome than expected, the famous gesture of surprise explaining the story behind his having gotten duped.
Maybe it’s fair to add I’m an Argentinian painter living in Spain, and as such maybe not the best fitted to be shoving no message to nobody’s face, I’d like to state there was no such intention on my part, sometimes (hell, always) images when done get a life of their own and start speaking to different audiences as they see fit. That said, I mostly was drawn to the two media monsters colliding with the force and theatric ridicule of all their respective perceived associations and shared obsessions in dealing with the issues of race in our good ol’ United States.
The image at the back of my mind was that delicate and stony Fontainebleau painting of the two ladies in a tub with the nipple pinching detail. That tension and electricity survives I think in my touching of the fingers, I hope!