Thursday, December 23, 2010

ArtTraveler reconstructs anti-GW Bush rage that gave birth to "Burning Bush" painting

"Burning Bush" by S. van Drake, a gift to Joost & Moira Schepel of Competa, Spain; acrylic/mixed media on linnen. Aporox: 900 X 250 cm.
I want to talk about rage and art.

As a pacifist (US certified conscientious objector circa 1969), watching fascist US President George W. Bush define himself as the "war president" confirmed the demise of  what was once a fairly well respected US empire.

In the spring of 2005, I had a nervous breakdown: my mother died, albeit living a full and eventful life at age 90; the 7/7 London bombings happened two days after her death; I was poor and could not attend my mother's funeral; George W. was waging a Christian Crusade against Islamic Iraq based on lies and Big Oil's dreams of greed and glory and the military industrial complexe's lust to create a cycle of capitalistic destruction and reconstruction, a new and profitable industry of nation pilaging and re-building, which made more than a handful of GOP cronies super rich.

Thousands of 19-25 year-old US troops playing computer games in tanks and behind computer screens on fighter bombers proceeded to destroy Iraq.

All on the premise of carefully crafted lies by Joseph Wolfovitz (think IMF) and Karl Rove (think anti-Christ) and plans developed to invade Iraq in the late 90's in a conservative think tank dominated by Rove and Wolfovitz, all designed to enrich GOP capitalist funders like Haliburton (former VP Dick Chene's former company).

As we know, Chene became the evil puppeteer of the equally evil but incredibly stupid GW Bush.

All this combined with my most recent completion of 10 hours of acrylic art instruction by a female Danish artist in Competa, Andalusia, Spain in 2005,  compeled me to paint what turned out to be "Burning Bush,." my second painting.

I could not afford canvass. I bought linnen at the local flea market. I prepared it after laying plastic on the floor of my flat in Competa. I taped down the linnen. I prepared acrylic colours in cheap plastic bowls around the perimeters of the linnen for quick application.

I had no concept. None, Only emotions driving the construction of this painting.

I did not know where I was going.

All I knew was rage against perhaps one of the most evil men in history: George W. Bush, a man about whom I learned from his law school roomie, a West Palm Beach, Florida lawyer (a bit intoxicated at the time) that the year 2000 candidate for US President did three things in law school: cocaine, booze and women. Exact words.

Bush, a man devoid of intellect, ethics or compassion,: a true sociopath.

I was livid at what I percieved from the get-go as an illegal war against Iraq based on bogus claims of WMD, hyped by mainstream media and paid mouthpieces.

I simply started painting, a ground colour and then suddenly I shaped a multi-coloured meteor looking object, adding dried flowers I found in my apartment, compulsively applying mixed media techniques with a special emphasis on texture, including organic seeds I glued and painted over to create a subtle but illuminating, dark universe.

Again, I knew not where I was going with this hideous and emotionally charged work.

I added gesso, glue and sand to create globs of gooey textured blobs of mixed and flowing and igneous colours, applied with large brushes and wide and unrestrained brush strokes. I would then let this dry and move onto something else on the canvass.

Near the very end of it all, I still did NOT see what I had created.

And finally it hit me, even though all this rage against Bush was there, and it was intensely focused; it was totally subconscious, until....

Until it finally occured to me that there was something drastically missing from this roughly 900 X 250 cm painting. The visual vacancy was in Washington, DC. A political/artistic void.

I finally realized before adding the final touch, that what I had created was the US of A crashing and burning through the atmosphere as a meteor destined to destroy the earth as in the one that reputedly wiped out the dinasours.

Wiping out the Bush administration, however, seemed more appropriate.

And then I remembered taking pictures in Amsterdam in 2004 of anit-Bush graffiti stenciled onto highly textured building exteriors as a protest.

I decided to print the picture of one of these convincing images of "W"  on red construction paper and paste it in where you might expect to see Washington, D.C. I then painted in some crimson to match and create a transition to the rest of the painting.

And then I got very, very excited.

I found myself enjoying seeing the US of A burning and dissolving as it entered Earth's atmosphere, a burning but dying empire, a meteor of a once great state disentegrating.

I called it "Burning Bush."

And Moses never left my mind thereafter.

Happy Holidays.

Rock on and practice peace and love. See ArtTraveler's videos at:

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM)

I tried different pallettes to try create the right emotional madness. I completed this on May 25, 2005.

What's not to love about a war criminal? Foto by S. Van Drake.

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