Armed / Business as Usual
(The images in this portfolio date from 1991 to more recent times)
Arms Dealer, oil on linen, 30×42, 1999.
Inspired, if I can use that phrase, from a newspaper article about an arms dealer in Calcutta who had benefitted from international arms sales, and was now ready to give back to the community… I thought ‘what a prick”, a benevolent fool, and yet these are the power players that are in the world we live in… The boot footprint on the box was made by using one of my shoes as a stamp, putting paint on it and pressing it onto the canvas. The multi-coloured arms represent all the peoples of the world affected by political strife and warfare, no one untouchable, except of course for the arms dealer himself all decked out and looking oh so splendid. The blue arm – even the gods are game in this cruel world of international arms dealing. The newspaper article kept mentioning his pristine dress and his ‘self import’.
Power Couple –
I started this idea as my son had an empty shell grenade from the army surplus store, and I was thinking about how one contains things, and then when built up to a certain pressure are almost ready to explode…. Potential. We as humans often see that things are ready to explode… Lured by power, lured by illusion. I liked painting this guys vunerable eyes, and was thinking a bit of Conrad Black as he was facing his uncertain future re his imprisonment.
We all Like the idea of seeing things for what they are. This painting is not intended to be mocking, but we see powerful scenarios played out in the media and in dramas, we are the aware outside looking in on people’s lives, and we can sometimes see the pressure cookers ready to explode, when they aren’t aware. One can have it all and have nothing. Is this a commentary on the Illusion of success, envy, illusion of status? vulnerability of relationships? I don’t know. I like the potential that this idea has in making me wonder. – MA – from notes about paintings.