Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hitler Barbie and The Gerber Baby

So what do Hitler, Barbie, and the Gerber Baby have in common? They were all part of my LITTLE Pop Art Show on Thursday night. They were the last 3 portraits I completed. After thinking I was all done, I realized that these 3 iconic figures were meant to be part of my beloved exhibit. It’s interesting that, regardless of how we come to view them icons come in all different shapes and figures. They shaped and shape our world. 

Installing the exhibit was somewhat amusing. At first glance it may seem that the portraits were randomly placed, but upon closer inspection one will notice a well thought out pattern. Hitler, for example, hangs right next to the Dalai Lama and Mandela. Above him is Jesus. Not only is he amongst great men, but he also looks gay. Right below him is Leigh Bowery himself, as he had done a ‘patch’ portrait of Hitler from leftover pieces given to him by Lucian Freud. 

Overall, it looks beautifully put together. And even though I’m grateful for the opportunity to display my work at Flgiht001, unfortunately, it isn’t at a respected gallery or place that would give me recognition. But in writing this I also understand the importance of letting go and of continuing my work. 

As I move onward, I realize that there are a countless many other iconic figures like Michael Jackson, Mother Theresa, Shakespeare, Snoopy, Lady Gaga, The Mona Lisa, and Gandhi just to name a few. I’m curious as to how many more of these I will add to the series, as I already have a new series in mind. I’ll trust in God and imagination. 

The piece here is my portrait of Hitler. Surprisingly it’s my favorite piece from the show. As I mentioned in my last post about Leigh being a ‘beautified monster’, the Hitler piece is my ultimate portrait of a now ‘beautified’ monster. 

Anthony Hopkins once said, “I am able to play monsters well. I understand monsters. I understand madmen.” I believe there is compassion in his words. We all have our own monsters to bear. What we see ugly in another is part of who we are. With a little compassion comes freedom. 

Let freedom ring and monsters live. 

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but monsters will never hurt me.

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