Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Art vs. Economics and Politics

The text concerning this picture starts below at paragraph five. Alas, most of my friends won't bother looking at a post without a picture. I fear we are a group with MSS, magazine scanner syndrome. You get it from spending too much time in line at the grocery store. Then it invades your entire life. Hopefully this print is so tiny that they won't be able to read it, even if they suddenly had the inclination.

So I was thinking about posting on the subject of loans and bailouts. Actually I was going to release a copy of my letter to the US government requesting a meeting to start setting up my own government-backed, bailout loan.

I have been feeling a certain degree of morbid solace as it comes to light that an increasing number of companies managed by some of the finest financial minds in the country are faltering. Until last year I was harboring a certain degree of shame. Perhaps not shame, but certainly kicking myself in the derrière at least once a day for placing too much confidence in the almighty American dollar and real-estate. What do you expect from someone with degrees in art and design? Still, Bush was elected in 2000. It is not as if I had no forewarning whatsoever. (For the French fluent you can picture the cartoon of the guy slapping his own forehead and saying, "quel con, quel con." English translation, "What a naive, stupid, schmuck I was.")

But there is no need to go on with vaguely humorous analogies or even glaring examples of how Americans need to choose between government meddling, Democratic style, or government laissez-faire, Republican style... all of which is boringly familiar to my wacky-left-leaning-friends and just irritates my evil-right-leaning-friends.

Instead I decided to follow Ms. Plumb's lead and post about my artistic kid. Yes, that is singular, as in only one of the mismatched pair. The guy. The girl is not too interested in painting unless it glitters and goes on her fingernails and toenails. (As a barely related side note, I should point out that as a family we feel it is politically OK to accept donations of sparkly jewelry in sizes appropriate for a 4 year old.) But the guy is a dedicated young artist, who speaks eloquently with images on paper.

The example above was an early 2008 piece, Ikea marker on Ikea heavy newsprint. You may note the predominance of green with the occasional, seemingly random placement of red. According to the artist, those marks were actually part of a failed attempt by a jealous little flirt to sabotage his masterpiece. But the substance and force of the subjects with their careful and deliberate rendition remain unfailingly front and center to the viewer's eye.

The narrative which accompanies the piece explains that the larger and predominant figure is non other than myself, his Dad. The second figure slightly smaller, but floating in a semi-exalted position is my partner, boy-friend, whatever, known to the guy as his Alan. If you don't have an Alan, you might think about going out and finding one. They can be quite useful, especially when your Dad is being like the aforementioned schmuck and working on a weekend when he should be out riding bicycles. This may be the reason that his Alan, as the artist points out, has bigger muscles which if you refer back to the artwork are those aspects which the less erudite might perceive as fat legs and little bumps on the shoulders. I have the same little bumps, but on my neck, and I am either one of the less erudite or simply too embarrassed to figure out what those mean.

Last but not least, there is George. Yes, the infamous (a) George mentioned here on earlier posts. Although this representation of George is fairly recent, apparently the artist felt that it was important to show him in his younger incarnation virtually hairless and with a stub of a tail. There is no need to be alarmed. If you look back at pictures of George, you will see that he has a normal and quite substantial pelt with a full-size tail.

I guess that was what you call, artistic license. Come to think of it, that seems to be the way the current US government takes certain economic principles... with artistic license.

1 comment:

Madame K said...

So, Alan can fly? You lucky son of a gun!

I always wanted a flying S.O., but ended up settling for a Frenchmen.

*deep sigh*