Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Portraits and politics. And history.

I have been continuing with my portraiture. I find it relaxing and I use it to research things that interest me. For example the paintings below. The first is of Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary general, who led successful battles against reactionary forces, who were (of course) supported by the USA. Villa's army was not ultimately successful, and he was assassinated in 1920.

Throughout the 20th century (and beyond) the USA increasingly used its growing power and influence to undermine democratically elected governments of South American countries, whose politics the USA felt (and feels) is/was undermining of US capitalism. The role of the US in these acts of oppression throughout the American continent ( and elsewhere) - it's extraordinary what sort of anti-democratic acts America has got away with - and continues to - whilst it defends the (ahem) "Free World"

Pancho Villa 
The second portrait is of Earl Browder, the former leader of the US Communist Party. These days the whole concept of a thriving Communist, Socialist, Anarchist movement in the USA seems so unlikely and so against contemporary mainstream thought, because people like Browder, and others were suppressed, repressed and persecuted. The reference for the painting is a photo when a young Browder was jailed as a conscientious objector during the first world war.
Earl Browder

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

More portraiture, me and Sacco and Vanzetti

I am continuing with portraiture, with varying degrees of success. Unposted is a portrait of my wife, which (despite many days' work) I just can't get right. I seem to have a greater problem with painting women than men, and I am sure someone will give me a good Freudian reason for this. So instead here's a self portrait, which I'm quite pleased with, and a portrait of Sacco and Vanzetti - two innocent anarchists who were executed in the USA for crimes they didn't commit. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacco_and_Vanzetti  for a decent bit of history and background. Poor guys,

Self Portrait
Oil on Canvas 64x56cm

Sacco and Vanzetti
Oil on Canvas 60x60cm