Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Cutting a Swath to the White House
This is the most recent thing to emerge from my studio. I have been looking at the work of Thomas Nast at the urging of my husband, as I love cartoons of Tammany Hall fat cats and feel it apropos right now to be looking backward for this kind of imagery. The extremity of post-civil war American political cartoons and speech is quite surprising. I think I had forgotten how honest we were back then even as we were acting horrifylingly brutal and intolerant. I have noticed that American still life has some of the same honest awkwardness of political cartoon. I have also been dipping into the Library of Congress collection of Pictorial Americana, some political cartoons, some promotional imagery. Some of the more idiosyncratic text in this image comes from image of President Garfield cutting a swath to the White House, from humble beginnings through corruption. I think I liked the image of Garfield stepping on a falsehood snake a bit too much. What is it about me and literal humor? Oh and calumny = libel for those of you who have to go to the dictionary like I do... I think that's an archaic term for it. And that's me on that pole. I feel I have to work out my feelings of complicity in a public arena, and do vile things to my self in cartoon format, even if only for laughs/opulent horror.