Six large canvases combine together on a single wall to form the series, The Specters of Revolution. From left to right and top to bottom, each painting tells the story of an important turning point in human history.
The series begins with the painting of pre-industrial man on the far left. Here, humanity is not yet fully formed, not yet distinguishable from the animal kingdom. A human figure with a tortoise head slumps over under the weight of his burden. Birds perch on him, unaware that he is different from them. The headless figure of an animal stands upright on two legs, incomplete and with a giant hole in its chest. Above it floats a ghostly and exaggerated head, reminiscent of tribal carvings and masks. On the right, in a cloud, an amorphous sky God looms over the scene looking down with one omniscient eye.
In the middle painting humanity is shown partially and fully formed. At the center of the image is a bust of Karl Marx, on his right, William Shakespeare kneels down with the skull of Yorick in his hands. A chorus of misshapen female figures frame the scene. Shakespeare is playing Hamlet to Marx’s Horatio, instructing him, as Hamlet does in Act V, “and in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain to tell my story.” The story that Marx tells is of one of industrialization and oppression. It is a story told with as much compassion for the human condition as one finds in the dramas of Shakespeare, and yet the skull that the bard holds up to him, now seems to suggest a blood offering or sacrifice; the countless lives that the failed Communist experiment will claim.
The canvas on the right references the coming transportation revolution and the mechanization of war. The silhouette of a black airplane swoops down over a conjoined monstrous and misshapen creature who scuttles around underneath cradling a precious egg in his hand. The man is no longer separate from the machine. He is a mutant, with only the hope that a new world and a new humanity can spring from the egg.
The first canvas on the bottom row shows vaguely discernible male and female figures fusing together. The rules of gender are changing. Men become women. Women become men. True organic shapes begin to form, in spite of the rigid angularity of the world they inhabit.
In the middle painting, fragile human figures juxtapose a scene of wheels and sprockets. This is a new world of compromises. The individual is discernible by shape, but not by color or features. The emphasis is on their shared humanity. The simple mechanics of the bicycle are preferred over the luxury of automobiles. The environmental revolution attempts to reshape humanity’s view of itself and technology in the world.
In the final painting, the information comes to fruition. Media talking bobble-heads mouth words that escape as black clouds. The human figure is now a combination of shapes and forms. Gender is no longer discernible at all. The monster on the left holds up a mirror. In its reflection a grotesque face stares back. The gaps in its teeth, mockingly, ironically spells the word heart, or is it the word fear?
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