Thursday, 29 March 2018

And more political portraiture

I have continued with the portraiture. I commission which I won't publish yet, and a couple of others: Huey Newton and Emma Goldman. Emma Goldman was an interesting woman. She left Russia (actually now Lithuania) as a teenager in 1885. Many Jews did at that time, including my great grandparents, escaping anti-Semitism. It wasn't a safe place to be a Jew at the time. She ended up in America and became a famous anarchist and activist, fighting for the rights of women, and the rights of workers. She was jailed numerous times in the US and was eventually exiled to Russia in 1917, where she for a while embraced the revolution, but ultimately condemned the bolshevik state for its dictatorship of the proletariat, as other anarchists did.
Emma Goldman
Oil on Canvas 35x24cm
Huey Newton was one of the founders of the Black Panthers in the 1960s in the USA, alongside Bobby Seale. Despite getting regularly into trouble as a teenager, Newton was extremely well-read, intelligent and qualified. There is so much written about his life and about the Black Panthers I can't hope to put anything useful in writing here. It's impossible to write about everything Newton and Goldman did and said, but it's worth anyone's time doing the research. Both advocated the use of violence on occasion to attempt to achieve their aims. Given the oppression of black people, of women, of discrimination and of persecution that they both suffered, it is not a surprise, nor easy to condemn.

Jeez this is possibly the most illiterate entry I've ever written on this blog! Just look at the pictures and forgive my inadequacies...
Huey P Newton
Oil on canvas 60x60cm 

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Anarchist portraits

I've completed a couple more portraits. One of William Godwin who was very interesting in many ways. He was influenced by both Bakunin and Proudhon and amongst other things was father of Mary Shelley - author of "Frankenstein". There's a lot more to him than that but you can look that up. The other is of Rosa Luxemburg, another interesting anarchist-communist. She disapproved of what became of Soviet Russia and she also was influenced by Bakunin. The point of these early anarchist/anarcho-syndicalists was that they believed that better communities would be built if each community or workplace was self-governed, not ruled by the state. Bakunin argued that a dictatorship of the proletariat was still a dictatorship...

These ideas could not not be more opposite to the "individual" anarchists in the USA, many of whom support Trump. These right-wing anarchists (as they style themselves) believe in individual "self-rule" with no responsibility to society or their communities - or anyone else. They are nasty fuckwits who have perverted a philosophy for their own ends.

William Godwin, Oil on canvas

Rosa Luxemburg
Oil on Canvas 60x60cm
I've also been doing some portrait drawings. Here's one: Spanish anarcho-syndicalyst and anti-fascist  fighter, Juan Garcia Oliver:

Juan Garcia Oliver
Ink on paper