Infusing art with ethics and values and a sense of justice is difficult. Current events work in progress aims to integrate art with news / commentary as we struggle to make sense of irrational acts that irreparably harms those it touches.
The focus of the following series of works is on the tragedy unfolding in the Ukraine. For background, see Krugman’s take on Ukraine’s history in his NY Times article “Odessa and the Ukraine That Should Have Been.” March 22, 2022
Night Terrors evolved from painting over the ugliness of "The Long Table" directly below to adding an overlay of reds and yellows depicting Russia's incessant bombing of Ukraine cities flattening them to nothingness.
04-28-2022, acrylic on canvas, 48x60x1.5
The Long Table
This piece takes off from the many pictures of Putin isolating himself at the end of a long table combined with news of Putin's displeasure with his advisers over how his war is going in the Ukraine. "Biden says Putin may have fired some advisers or put them under house arrest." This painting could also have been included as a part of the Relationships Series.
04-28-2022, acrylic on canvas, 48x60x1.5
Elimination speaks to the horrors of human annihilation in Ukraine; the threat of total extinction through climate change; and yet contradictorily, elimination of personal stress / finding a place of strength within - calm and purposeful resolve.
O4-17-22: Russia's Ministry of Defense called on the Ukrainian soldiers still in Mariupol to lay down arms surrender by 1 p.m. local time on Sunday, warning anyone still resisting after the deadline "will be eliminated." It also said trapped "foreign mercenaries who joined the Ukrainian forces," including Europeans and Canadians, "will be eliminated" if there is further resistance.
04-20-2022, acrylic on canvas, 60x48x1.5
"Land and Sea Impressions" after Moskva warship sinks in Black Sea followed by Russia bombing Kyiv factory.
04-16-2022, acrylic on canvas, 36x48x1.5
The world watches in disbelief, horror and sorrow as Putin obfuscates, lies and spreads disinformation.
The stylized darkened sun, crudely over-painted in yellow, surrounded by white paint on white canvas, depicts white-washing of the reality in Ukraine. Photo credit: Newsweek
04-05-2022, collage on canvas, 24x36
Not A Handshake
Is peace possible without trust?
In the center of the piece is a xerox copy of the artist's hand illustrating the failure for Russia and Ukraine to connect or find any agreement that would bring an end to the war.
03-23-2022, collage on canvas, 24x36
In the weeks since Russia began its invasion, at least 1,500 civilian buildings, structures and vehicles in Ukraine have been damaged or destroyed. More than 953 civilians have been killed, including at least 78 children, according to the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, who noted that the real toll was likely to be considerably higher.
03-24-2022, oil on watercolor paper, 22x30
The fragmented look represents the demolition of Ukrainian buildings, city and the country as Russian forces shell civilians.
03-22-2022, oil on watercolor paper, 22x30
Inspiration for the blue "demarcation line" came from a picture of "construction materials shot by drone" in Hong Kong; as technology blurs the line between landscapes (horizontal view) and geography (top down view) in our collective and global consciousness. Demolition of cities represented in the upper right. Green and yellow represent the winter and spring wheat that might not be harvested this year.
03-15-2022, oil on canvas, 36x48x1.5
The work began as a representation of the relationship between a mother and her daughter's struggle for independence and morphed into a representation of Putin's belief in Russia's right to control the Ukraine through violence. The hard bar(s) act as edges of a mirror in which Putin sees only his own reflection as he continues his terror campaign bombing of Ukraine. White corners (fog of war) encroach upon the image as Putin's tunnel vision continues to narrow. This painting also figures as a part of the Relationships Series.
Published in Observica, October 30, 2022.
03-06-2022, acrylic on canvas, 36x36x1.5
Russia Invades Ukraine
The darkness spreads across the Ukraine as Russia ruthlessly attacks civilians. "Military commanders should know they will be prosecuted for war crimes using the evidence generated by innumerable smartphones. So should Mr Putin’s entourage. His enforcers [are in line] for a ticket to The Hague."
03-16-2022, oil on watercolor paper, 30x22