The Turk’s Hat Dilemma

The Turk's Hat Dilemma

There is a series of paintings called Mexican Casta paintings, which reflect the various racial categories commonly recognized during the colonial era.  Versions of these categories seem to have been commonly used throughout the Americas at that time. In this painting, the union of a white “Espanol” with an albino woman results in children referred to as “negro torna atras” (black turns back), meaning that the woman’s African genes are expressed in the dark skinned children, even though she appears white.  For me it’s a window into a very weird world, but it apparently was commonplace at that time.  In this image, I’ve combined the casta painting with a painting of an apparently content and loving wealthy couple from the American colonies along with a peculiarly shaped inflatable water slide from the 4th of July celebration in Prescott, Arizona, replete with playing children and grandparents.

Mom and the Water Slide

x Mom and the Water Slide

Every 4th of July they set up these huge inflatable water slides on the lawn of a local school.  I thought it looked better this way..  Why do Baroque (and other periods) painters often have women, often naked, waving lengths of cloth in the air?  Were they happy? Sad? Signaling for a tailor to stitch them some clothing?

Rodeo Clowns, darker version

Rodeo Clowns, darker version I think I’m happier with this version than the last much-lighter version I posted the other day.  This way it looks like things are emerging from a dark and creepy place, a place where a deer carcass is draped over a tree limb.  I like the conflict between the story line of the painting and that of the parading rodeo clowns.  I don’t like things that are too obvious, too simple, too much of a “one liner.”  Dig deeper.

Rodeo Clowns, 4th of July Parade, Prescott, AZ

x Rodeo Clowns, 4th of July Parade, Prescott, AZ

Rodeo Clowns, 4th of July Parade, Prescott, AZ.  This is the first entry for my new blog.  I want feedback from other people, artists, art enjoyers, anyone who wants to engage in the topic of art.  Most of the pieces I will post will be “in process,” meaning that I may later post alternative versions of the piece.  As I look at the above piece, my first reaction is that it needs more of something.  It needs to be punchier, more dramatic.  I need to re-work it a little.  Meanwhile, look for me on twitter, facebook, and instagram.  Older pieces of mine can be found under the Gallery tab.  Have fun, and let me know what you think.