Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Going Nuclear

"Going Nuclear"

2010 / inks on paper

I felt this was a fitting post considering today's headlines citing plans for new nuclear power facilities here in the United States (while wanting to sanction Iran for the same.) I have to say despite the dangers, I'd like to trust our technological advancements to providing this alternative energy source. The gas crisis has started and will climax in our lifetimes hopefully bringing better means of powering our lives but Nuclear power is the closest alternative we have at hand right now.

"Join or..."

2005 / Acrylics on Wood

A Happy Little Hitler

"A Happy Little Hitler" inks on bristol
Adolf Hitler will forever be one of the most notorious faces and images of hate, evil, and racism to ever exist. In this recent illustration, I posed him painting on a canvas. Hitler's application to art school as a young man was infamously rejected. This fact has sparked trivial debate about whether World War II would have occurred had he been accepted.

Initially, I had my subject with the classic cold stare you see in photographs. My wife and I decided to opt for a smile to not only make the work less menacing but to give face to another side of him (the sick bastard had to smile sometime in his life, right?) For my photo reference of a painter, I used a picture of Bob Ross... which also inspired the work's title. The work is curtained at top and bottom with the flags of all the countries Hitler invaded, conquered, and controlled during his reign.

In my portrait, Hitler is painting an image I found in a real Nazi propaganda cartoon depicting The Giant Jew-Bug taking over the world. The Germans used cartoons as propaganda just as the Americans did even via Disney cartoons.

UPDATE 10/07/2010

Here is the thumbnail sketch of the original concept for my Happy Little Hitler. I found it rummaging around this morning and thought it was neat to compare. With more complex works such as this, I'll often do a couple of thumbnail sketches before I move on to my final sketch.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Iron Eyes Cody

Iron Eyes Cody was an American actor who was famous for his role in PSA's Keep America Beautiful commercial back in the 1970's (for which he's referred to as the "crying Indian".) Cody in fact, was not Native American at all, but Sicilian. His parents were immigrants who ran an Italian restaurant. Near the end of his life, his ancestry was made public (not even his wife who WAS Native American knew).

My portrait of Cody portrays the  Sicilian flag burning in the background and with the actor in his full Native American getup which he wore publicly his entire life... and gave a new meaning to living the role.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Smoker's Delight

With this recent illustration, I wanted to pay homage to The Marlboro Men. The Marlboro Man was a marketing tool used by Philip Morris & Co. from 1954 until just before the turn of the century. From 1924, Marlboro had been introduced as a women's cigarette and after the second World War, the Marlboro Man was conceived to market the product toward men.

Three guys that actually appeared in advertisements as Marlboro Men died from lung cancer. Wayne McLaren, David McLean and Dick Hamme's deaths gave us the moniker of "cowboy killers".