Masquerading as a man with a reason, my charade is the event of the season.
–Kansas (the rock group, not the state)
I wanted to share a painting that I did about 25 ago. It is, obviously, a man being crucified. Done in a style and intention reminiscent of Georges Rouault (1871-1958) a French expressionist. You can see some of his works and read an interpretation of his ethos here. Boston College had a large exhibition of his works in 2008.
To boil it down, he was concerned with representing the surface of people versus their inner self–the semblance versus the reality. To do this he used a kind of stained glass expressionism to explore disreputable subjects (e.g., clowns and prostitutes). The glittery costumes belied the sadness and difficulty of their lives. But he didn’t look down on them and you can see how he lets their dignity shine through. Conversely, he would use high society people in his paintings to show how beautiful they seemed but how venal and self-involved they actually were. Again–what society expects and perceives versus the reality. He also ventured into using religious subjects but in those paintings the individual personality of the subjects is supplanted by a more symbolic presentation.
I loved the bold colors, the social commentary, the subtle mixture of the profane with the sacred, and the way he played with symbolism. His subjects were uniquely individual and still somehow universally symbolic. So this painting was my own interpretation and tribute to his work. The first is the full painting and the second is a detail photo.
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