On Wednesday, January 6th, my art group was meeting on Zoom. Someone broke in and said, “Trump supporters are invading the capital.” We quickly dismissed the meeting and turned to our TVs to view what was happening. Windows and doors of our capital were being broken, men were climbing walls, confederate flags waved, and tear gas clouds rose above the crowd. There was complete chaos, as security fell apart. Legislators of both parties fled to other rooms, while the carnival-like mob shoved forward, taking selfies as they posed with statues, and littered floors with the paperwork of democracy.
As I look over the paintings I have done during the pandemic, I can see my preoccupation with subjects that are influenced by watching the news and being deeply concerned about the current occupant of the White House. One of these paintings is called “Truth.”
I decided to work on several paintings, just to fill time, without much forethought or planning. My art group became tired of me sharing the many versions of this painting. It started with the word, “Truth,” which they immediately saw as “Trump.” His name has been repeated so much, verbally and in print, it may be a part of our DNA.
I’ve done other artworks about Truth and the news. No source is perfect in relating the Truth. If my art group were interviewed about what transpired on January 6, 2021, there would be as many versions of it as we have members. However, social media has now relegated main stream news to irrelevance and crowned the talking heads of sensationalism. Social media seduces with misinformation and those seeking it are fed back similar false claims in a never ending cycle. Some popular networks have few reporters, and no tradition of honoring integrity. Strong personalities deliver their opinions with force and vitriol. Yet, many well-intentioned people take these as their only source of information.
The second painting started with a profile of Trump, but evolved into an explosive abstraction. I named it, “News, News, and More News.”
The third is a volcano, starring the eye of that person whose name I refuse to utter another time!