Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Allegory of Good and Bad Government

I'm planning a more politically-driven series based on Ambrogio Lorenzetti's "Allegory of Good and Bad Government".  I am composing the work as a large triptych that will interpret Lorenzetti's dramatic 14th Century governmental scenes using symbolic geometry and linear perspective.  My inspiration comes from the need to visualize the structure of contemporary American government and draw parallels between Sienese history and neo-fascism.  Lastly, I am also working on a sister series called "Checks and Balances".  It will also visualize governmental structure, but with a focus on the tension between the three branches - more details soon... In the meantime, here are a few ideation notes and sketches for my "Allegory":



Lorenzetti's Good Government


Lorenzetti's Bad Government











Hilma af Klint is a huge inspiration:



<3 <3 <3


Lebbeus Woods, "Slow Manifesto"



The House and Senate, Temporal Power (Pendulum), Scales of Justice, Power Pyramid (upside down), Frame of Constitution expands to encompass a greater majority.  I am using the philosophical and subversive aspects of alchemy to reference an older, more occult America, in which spirituality is visualized by geometric symbolism.  Throughout history, alchemy has been practiced as a secular philosophy to achieve inner transformation, enlightenment, and salvation.  To disguise themselves from the intolerant church, alchemists developed geometric symbols to share profound esoteric spiritual meaning.  By bringing this hidden language into view as political art, I believe it can aid in an American spiritual revolution that will transform hearts and minds, leading to a moral enlightenment and reclamation of core democratic values.


Our Ouroboros Government

Good and bad government are a reflected, asymmetrical feedback loop. They're codependent and capable of becoming one or the other at any given moment.  Like Alchemy, turning water-to-wine.



Power pyramid is upside down; the frame of the Constitution expands to represent a greater majority.


The cube-rosette, an alchemical symbol of the divine throne and window to enlightenment and transformation.


Rosettes, also a common architectural feature of federal buildings, will be incorporated into the design of my Good and Bad Government


The Hexagon Fractal: Mother of all golden squares, circles, triangles, rhombuses, ellipses...


The Rosette of Hope


The Rosette of Charity



The Rosette of Faith

Digital sketches: Tinkering with illusionistic texture to provide a sense of light and mass in the structure








The Rosette of Faith


The Rosette of Charity


The Rosette of Hope


Hope, Faith, and Charity


Crystal scan!



Hexagon metal prints!


"The Rosette of Faith"
Digital mixed media
2017


"The Rosette of Charity"
Digital mixed media
2017


"The Rosette of Hope"
Digital mixed media
2017


"The Rosette of Fortitude"
Digital mixed media
2017


"The Rosette of Justice"
Digital mixed media
2017


"The Rosette of Magnanimity"
Digital mixed media
2017


"The Rosette of Peace"
Digital mixed media
2017


"The Rosette of Temperance"
Digital mixed media
2017


"The Rosette of Wisdom"
Digital mixed media
2017





Hexagon-metal prints!



"The Allegory of Good Government" is finished!

The cube-rosettes, known as alchemical symbols of power and enlightenment, form the Nine Virtues that guide the Executive Branch of the Democratic Republic.  The Allegory of Good Government encompasses the Judicial and Legislative Branches, the expanding Frame of the Living Constitution, the Power Pyramid empowering the greater majority, the Pendulum symbolizing the healthy transition of power, and the Ouroboros embodying the death and rebirth of moral government...


"Bad Government: The Malicious Power Pyramid"
Through the angry fire of laissez faire, trickle-down capitalism, the elitist 1% stares down maliciously with resentment for the poor.  It hoards power and wealth at the top, as the light of Hope grows more and more narrow towards the bottom of the pyramid.


(Affectionately known as "The Angry Pyramid")
The elemental triangle of death's fire, a confrontation and condemnation of what is...
The elemental triangle of life's water, an idealization and mourning of what was...


The head of the Ouroboros emerges...


What happens when a foreign government is responsible for interfering in our democracy? Are good and bad government really just a closed feedback loop, or is there some external entanglement? What happens to the Ouroboros?

Just finished two high resolution final drafts!  I can print these at up to five square feet!  Big hexagon prints, here I come!


Inversions are a metaphor for "flipping the script" and exposing power structures.  To be more specific: what happens when we switch the roles of the black and white binaries?  Are we still looking at the same image, or has something fundamentally changed?  Can we contradict the flow of light and still call a shadow, a shadow? 

In terms of morality, is bad the simple inversion of good and vice versa?  Good and bad government are more than mirror images of each other.  Good and bad government are a reflected, asymmetrical feedback loop, like an Ouroboros.  They're codependent and capable of becoming one or the other at any given moment.  Ultimately, there are no equal opposites in a fundamentally unequal society and humanity is not up for debate.

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The Moral-Political Affirmation as Digital Painting

Digital painting expresses my moral-political affirmation by unapologetically confronting and condemning bad government.  All too often, digital art is mischaracterized as a deceptive medium that lacks handmade authenticity while simultaneously air-brushing the truth.  To the contrary, I believe digital art has historical relevance in today’s political climate and may be used as a form of cultural jiu-jitsu against Vladimir Putin's cyber-warfare.  In relation to geometric abstraction, its smooth, high-gloss, rigidly flat, pixel-measured, Pantone-charted certainty is what solidifies my work as hyper-intentional, subjective political art.  Desperation and lack of representation drives my need to raise my voice and make an empowering statement; thus, the subtle architectonics of hand-painted physicality have no place here.  My goal is to use subjectivity to shine a light through three dimensions and get to the allegoric structure of truth by revealing its flattened shadow.  I believe painting is a state of mind as much as it is a physical act, and by thinking like a painter, I can manipulate light and shadow to render a subjective moral-political truth that holds as much weight as Caravaggio's oily chiaroscuro.  


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Within my "Allegory of Good and Bad Government", the gallery space becomes a spiritual grotto. It is a dimly lit space that glows with soft candle light, evoking hope in the face of darkness. The Rosettes are like Saints, each one occupying their own shrine for reflection and empowerment.
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The heavy backward vibration drones on as I aspire to see Good Government while staring down Bad Government...

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