Friday, August 28, 2009

Stories Behind My Paintings - The Triumph of St. George

Many times, I was asked about how I came to the concept of a painting project and what else influenced my decisions on color palette, composition, etc.

It is often very difficult to summarize the process, the understanding of which can be very helpful to understand a work, therefore I decide to start to write about my works, to help the understanding of my work and process, despite the fact that my paintings don't have multiple layers of meanings and depth of masters.

The first of this series will be about The Triumph of St. George (Oil on Canvas, 48" x 30", Completed in 2003), whose conception was formed during the drumming up of invading Iraq in the late 2002 through early 2003. It has been widely observed that harsh and difficult environments foster artworks of great depth and humanity. I cannot pretend that the St. George painting reached such height, but it is during the period I was most productive and my works were most satisfying.

During the period, I felt very frustrated and angry and helpless, due to the political situation and I started to channel my feelings towards creation. I never doubted the military might of the US therefore I didn't hesitate to predict the adventure a "triumph". Yet, I also foresaw the huge costs inflicted upon the poor Iraqi people, a la Yugoslavia or worse. I imaged the the dead bodies piled up, like the images of The Monolith (Monolitten), Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo. I also imaged the burning oil fields, bombed out buildings, represented by mushroom clouds and iconic Hiroshima Memorial in the background. I tried to faithfully reproduce the smug smile of George W. Bush and in a nod to reality, I recognized that his opponent was a monster itself. I let George stood high on the pile of limb-tree, carrying a flag of Saint George I borrowed from work by Albrecht Dürer, since this war was undeniably injected with certain Christian fervor.

Thus I preserved my private thoughts about the event and commenced my Apocalypse Series of paintings, to commemorate the human miseries.

Durer - Saint George Ref: DUA007 The Paumgärtner Altarpiece: St George (Left Panel) Albrecht Dürer, c.1498-1504

The Monolith (Monolitten), Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo

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