Pseudo patriotism in these dark times…
“They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings, steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and then they make you king.” ― Bob Dylan
Don’t paint your politics, be a patriot
Though I love to bring color, fun and energy to life on canvas, sometimes as an artist I have a duty to paint the sign of the times. The research for this project, took me to some very dark places, not only within society, but also within me. Luckily, it’s been a cathartic process. And while I’ve been told — you’re an artist, paint your happy paintings, don’t paint your politics, be a patriot – sometimes it’s your job to paint how you see the world…
My aim is to expose the angst and dread that I and so many others are feeling now. The use of imagery, words and found objects are all there to encourage critical thinking. But while I’m painting a dark subject, I’m also shining a light of hopefulness. The intent is that the work almost begs you to interact, to be involved and take part with it. Likewise, by engaging with each other, we see that we’re not alone and that together we are powerful.
Please don’t berate me for lack of patriotism, that’s so cliché. I come from a military family, my brother served and my dad was a lifer who was in WWII and did 2 tours in Vietnam. I saluted him when he left for Vietnam, I was 5 years old. You see my dad served with people of every color and nationality in the service. We were taught that everyone was different and that THAT is what makes us so great!
War stories – horror stories
My mom is from Austria and lived through the Nazi invasion. It was her job to round-up the kids and get them into the basement during the air raids. She was strafed by airplanes and saw horrible things happen to her neighbors. My Oma (grandmother) ran the shortwave radio in the apartment building they lived in and she would get everyone safely down into the basement before the bombings. They lived near the train station so natuarally they were always being bombed. My Opa (grandfather) was captured by the Nazi’s and forced to build a bridge, weeks later he was released and returned home to my mom and Oma, they thought he had been killed and he wasn’t even Jewish.
They’re gone now
Both my parents have crossed over and I miss them and wish they were still here, except now, this is the one time I’m glad they are not here to see what is happening to our country.
This painting was done for a juried “Call to Artists” show, whose theme is politics. We’ll see if it makes it into the show…
Remember, together we are more powerful than we think and even if the president and his advisor(s) can’t show human decency – WE CAN…
P.S. The Swastika wasn’t always a symbol that of death and hate…
The word “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit svastika – “su” meaning “good,” “asti” meaning “to be,” and “ka” as a suffix.
Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck.