Not Just Two Faced
The idea was to take a painting of political propaganda and do everything I could think of to bring the subject of falsehood and revisionism in a contemporary sense clearly to the forefront. Nothing says that faster than being two faced, let alone four faced.
What Color was it Again?
I love Rashomon like stories (or Muppet Babies for that mater) where the narrative changes based on the speaker sometimes in jarring fashion. Was it a red cape, an orange cape? Was the horse white, brown or creme? Does it matter if it is a lie to begin with? Napoleon never rode a horse over the alps, he rode an ass weeks after his men. Lets make the lie obvious so that the truth has contrast.
Back in time there were paintings that were sat for and there were paintings that were essentially flights of fancy, the ideal of the patron brought to life by the artist. We called that airbrushing in the mid 20th and photoshoping in the 21st. I tried to make the tools and transitions obvious. Transparency grids, hard edge jumps, clear overlays and geometric blends and fills. There is no doubt this is a story re-edited.
Ever talked to someone that was lying and what was once a orderly story begins to take on a vague fog of detail where physics, psychology, economics and time seem to get fuzzy at best and abstract. Why paint a hat when half will get the point across and you can poly the rest in the rough or average out the colors into blocks of approximation. Once someone starts to tell and lie and someone else agrees to believe it isn’t detail after that point just a pretense and kabuki dance by then? At some point is there an honest lie?
Erased and Redacted
Another method in history to change the truth of something is to redact and erase. Whether it is Egyptian Pharaohs who want to eliminate a rouge member from the historical record, Soviet photographs with someone who needs to be rubbed out both literally and figuratively, CIA documents that need some of that black highlighter, or just material that we need to pixelize to protect the audience. If you are going to edit lets at least make it obvious something is missing and needs to be discovered.
I wanted to make a work that spoke about how much we have redacted history, desire to continue changing it and fear telling truths to the point of absurdity. A reality never more timely than in the 2010’s when the concept of fiduciary became laughable and lies became boldface and without shame. Its always been there though, there is nothing new just a slide of the pendulum from one extreme to the next with only a moment of respite.