It is nice to see paintings come to life, when this happens I know it’s nearly there.
I try to steer clear of politics with respect to my art. Back in 2009 when I created the ‘Are you a Believer?’ series, I was responding to a wave of hope that people projected just before Obama’s election. Once Obama was in office and the wave of hope had hit the shores and dissipated, the dialogue turned from hopeful to critical. Throughout his term I have been painting his portrait with a few simple rules such as using the same profile and size of canvas. Despite this it is intersting to see how his image has changed, in fact currently I am working on the fifth painting and I would say it has been the most difficult to to make yet. Interesting times are upon us, and as we progress I really do wonder how we will respond to the challenges in the coming years.
‘Are you a believer?’ No. 2
‘Are you a beliver?’
Series 1 thru 4
c.2009 to c.2013
One of the many things I do with paint is paint life.
-life as we know it is a thing of uncertainty, and Obama as the 44th president of the United States is for all intensive purposes a universe that I will never truly know. Nearly 6 years ago on the cusp of his first presidency, I was in New York city. There the name ‘Obama’ was all the buzz. So I made a very simple decision, and that was to paint Obama. The first Obama painting is titled, ‘Are you a Believer?’ c. 2009 portrays a very optimistic, patriotic, hopeful and unanimously well liked president. He is seen in deep contemplation as he envisions his next 4 years in office, you can see his eye is closed and his head is tilted in thought. Everyone was Obama crazy, or so it seemed. For myself I am forever pessimistic about politicians, and have tried to steer clear of any subjective opinion. My idea with the series from the beginning was to portray Obama based on public opinion, including news and additional sources that were relevant to Obama’s years in office. As the years progressed I continued making paintings, each one slightly more complex as the last, as Obama faces the realities of modern life, and his hopeful introduction loses its lustre. I am now at five, which captures Obama in his 5th year as president and as you can see there is a lot going on in that face. There is a simple rendering of hurricane Sandy, which reeked havoc on the Eastern seaboard (including New York) and is symbolic of the climatic change that we are currently witnessing. In the background there is a play on the American flag stripes, using tile designs that are found in Damascus as the white stripes, which symbolize the situation in Syria. There is a soldier firing his gun behind the breath of Obama as Picasso’s dove flies ahead of his mouth. So what will the next one be like? I guess time will tell that story. For now I am asking that those who read this blog could cast a vote for my painting, Obamafive, which I decided to enter in a painting showdown. It is a painting I want to share with the world, I want to pose the question, ‘Are you a believer?’
vote for my Obamafive painting in the Painted Faces showdown on Saatchi, click here. Mahaloness ❤
fotoMahaloness -Obama ‘Are you a Believer?’ number one and five, a paintamentary following the Obama years. Acrylic on Canvas
The first Obama painting can be ordered as a print from Saatchi, it is easy and affordable way to own my art, go to the link here
After a night sesshin, pretty close to complete. Are you a believer (five)? A paintamentary covering the Obama years. 30 x 40 in. acrylic on panel 2012 and studio document #75
Ps maybe I have been focusing my energy on rather not so Mahaloness subjects, fret not, for the explorations will go on, no one said this was going to be easy my friends, I will say this, I am in ‘it’ til the end, and while I am here I will do what I can to be graceful, and not necessarily in it to win it, no this is some thing sweeter than that, with bitter as a reminder of past time on the side.
FotoMahaloness -paintings and the afterlife
Sometimes the road gets tough, faith gets tested and I may not know why. I close my eyes. Scared of what I might find in the darkest regions of my mind. As storms surges and earthquakes stir, Mother Earth reminds us that we belong to her. A mother thinks of her son. A daughter dreams of being a little girl, a far cry from who she is in a world she has been lost to. A war rages in a mans head as he yells at no one in particular on a busy city street about nothing new. Clouds drift by in a sky that is pale blue. I stop and think of you. If heaven was a place on Earth than it would be with you, from this time forth it’s all for you. (an ongoing poem perhaps a song, to be continued)
FotoMahaloness -Obama 5 in process, ‘Are you a Believer?’ (Obama or who?) a paintamentary on the Obama years and a world in flux.