What is it about islands that triggers such feelings of wonder and romance? That you look out on water in all directions? That you are seemingly cut off, sheltered from the world? That you are free to indulge and enlarge a fantasy of romantic hideaway with a special lover, or a restorative individual refuge where you can learn great wisdom or prepare to do great deeds? Whatever the sequence of sensation, synapse and synthesis, to me, islands represent magic.
I will continue to paint islands and from islands, but Island Paintings III is the final exhibition of the “Island Paintings”. It will be shown in Vancouver between September 24-October 7. I expanded the two series View from the Ferry and View from the Spit begun in Island Paintings I and Island Paintings II. I’ve added two new series to the mix: Bamfield (View of Deer Group Islands) and Gulf Islands with Arbutus (the oft-promised paintings of Gabriola, Mayne, Salt Spring and Saturna). There are some beautiful “sherbet colours” in the show; I am quite pleased!
I hope that in these days of a COVID-altered existence, when one cannot travel freely or easily to one’s favorite island, wherever it may be, that you can take a vicarious pleasure in my painted reactions to these most wonderful islands in British Columbia.
ANGRY WHITE MEN III: THE PUPPET MASTERS
Immediately following the end of the Island Painting III exhibition, I will be hanging Angry White Men III: The Puppet Masters, October 9-21, 2020.
As you may remember, back in 2016, sparked by the enabling of hate that followed the US election, and by the rise of white-supremacist and nationalist demonstrators in both the USA and Europe, I began the Angry White Men series, a sub-set of my Face of Evil opus.
As more and more of these paintings were completed, I realized that there were three distinct groups of these men:
• the angry white men on the street, practicing intimidation with fearsome weapons, Nazi tattoos, fascist flags and other symbols of racism,
• the puppets: confused, mentally ill, ignorant and/or socially awkward white men recruited and then driven to commit vile and violent acts,
• and finally, the Puppet Masters: the intelligent men who – with cold detachment – work to manipulate and profit from their more credulous angry white brethren.
The Puppet Masters are the men who most need to be called to task: people like conservative media celebrities, Canadian far-right internet bloggers, radio talk-show hosts, white supremacist leaders, and American Presidents.
As a white man, I felt it would be presumptuous of me to paint the victims of hate crimes. However, I believed, as a white man, I should call out other white men’s bad behavior and attempt to stop it. If I stood silent, without protest, I would be allowing untruths to spread and evil to grow.
Please come see both exhibitions, if you can. We will be complying with Public Health guidelines regarding number of visitors, masks and physical distancing. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 604 525 2412 to book a time at which I expect you.
If you cannot come in person, I will be posting exhibition photos of each show. I also plan to create a series of short video tours of each exhibit. I will highlight a few paintings and point out what most makes them remarkable to me.
I will let you know when they are posted. Please let me know what you think, or write me to ask me to comment on a specific work you have seen among the posted works. It will be fun.