200 Art inspired by 200 yrs of statehood

February 27th, 2012 admin Blog, Miscellaneous, PR / News No comments


This year, 2012, is the 200th year of Statehood for Louisiana.

Not long ago I met a man who told me he was from “North Louisiana”. Immediately I assumed Shreveport, Monroe or Alexandria. After a dramatic pause he said “Minnesota”. He was of course referring to the western lands drained by the Mississippi river in  the original Louisiana Purchase of 1803. In that regard anybody from  Arkansas, Oklahoma,Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and portions of Minnesota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Canada can claim “north” Louisiana as their home. That’s about a quarter of the land mass of the current  U.S., so the story of Louisiana is a major part of the story of  America. The acquisition of the Louisiana territory prepared the way for further westward expansion. 

To me the narrative of the 200th anniversary  is centered around the great river. Going with the flow and willpower against water seems the underlying threads here. It’s a constant. Compared to the human element, we rise and fall one by one, but the river keeps flowing no matter what. So this series of new work inspired by 200 years of statehood has water as main theme and personalities as a minor theme. These works do not necessarily  illustrate  historic events, historical painting being a genre to itself, but ideas and imagery that have come to me as I’ve talked about , read about, remembered and imagined events, places and personalities. This set of works is entirely colored by my perspective. I certainly considered all the major historical events  but I made work as the images came to me, so these first 30 or so works in the  series are not in any chronological order. The only order there is is the order that the images came to me and the order that I was  able to complete them in. These works are mainly on stretched canvases. The paintings are made by adding  layer upon layer of imagery on top of each other, sometimes obscuring sometimes complementing the other layers. I think it mirrors  the multitasking  lifestyles we lead  and the over-saturation of communicative media that is our everyday reality. 

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