Showing 1 - 10 of 73 posts found matching keyword: art

The latest visitor to my yard:

Welcome to my neighborhood

For this one to work, it had to be recognizable as the late, great Fred Rogers.

The paintbrush adds 10 pounds

I'm not great at portraiture, and I think it's barely passable. However, I know that Mr. Rogers would tell me not to be too hard on myself because I tried my very best.

It's okay to be sad

We could all stand to be a little more like Fred.

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Four days before Christmas, while the nation was busy with other, bigger problems, the Virginia-sponsored statue of Robert E. Lee was quietly removed from the U.S. Capitol.

Each state has two statues in the Capitol, most in the National Statuary Hall. But the hall isn't large enough for 100 statues, so some had been moved to other locations, including the Crypt below the Rotunda. It's called the Crypt because it was originally intended to be the final resting place of the mortal remains of America's patron saint: George Washington. That made it a fitting place for a statue of Washington's great-grandson-in-law.

The statue is being moved to a history museum, which is frankly a far more suitable location for the man famous as leader of the slave-owning armies in the War Between the States. It'd be nice to say that Lee's statue was the last Civil War remnant in the Capitol. However, Statuary Hall still includes monuments to Confederate Colonel Zebulon Vance (sponsored by North Carolina), Lieutenant General Wade Hampton (South Carolina), General Joseph Wheeler (Alabama), Vice President Alexander Stephens (Georgia), and Jefferson Davis (Mississippi). Maybe you can see a theme there.

Prior to this year, I believed we should preserve all works of art, even those that could serve as political propaganda for causes of hatred. While I never thought such pieces belonged in the same building as the working seat of government, the current political climate has me thinking that maybe museums are also too public. There are very clearly too many in this country willing to use the imagery of the past for their own political purposes without regard to the damage they inflict on others. That's just plain wrong.

The ancient Olmecs, like us, used to make giant statues of their leaders. Then, when the leaders fell from power, the statues were disfigured and buried so that the people could move on without being encumbered by old grudges and failed ideologies. I'm increasingly of the opinion that might not be such a bad idea.

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Copyright 1968? Hmm. Determined or not, that cat must be long dead. That's kind of a downer.
© Victor Baldwin, 1971

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COVID 19 has reduced this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Parade to a shadow of its former self, and that sounds like a job for Superman!

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a balloon!

Most of my yard paintings over the past year have included a subversive wink at the holiday/season or current events that inspired them. Not so much here. I just thought the Superman parade balloon from the 1980s was pretty damn awesome, so I painted it. Because nothing says gratitude and generosity like corporate-sponsored marketing aimed at children. (Okay, maybe a *tiny* wink.)

Actually, it's plywood

By the way, that cityscape I'm using to hide the bottom of the ropes was an afterthought. I had originally planned that the ropes should terminate behind the rocks there at the base, but the ropes needed better bracing than I could arrange in that little space. In the future, I need to replace the skyline hiding the tie-off brackets with a crowd of Lilliputian rope handlers.

Maybe next year.

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The 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote was approved in 1920. How many of those women 100 years ago would have voted for someone who bragged he could "grab 'em by the pussy"?

Raise your hand if you're sure
Based on the suffragette art of H.M. Dallas. (And yes, I know she was British.)

You know who the bad guys are. Exercise your rights this year, girls.

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In the Before Times, tomorrow would have been the opening day of the Georgia football season (vs Virginia at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game).

That's not happening now. If Georgia does manage to have a football season, it won't start until September 26.

In honor of the COVID-19 modified 2020 season, I present my latest lawn ornament: On Ice.

40lbs is a lot of ice

Uga is always cool.

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My latest DIY yard project.

I named this one 'Pants Optional'

Social commentary! Oh, yeah!

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My latest lawn ornament:

I was planning something for "Back to School" season next, but since it doesn't look like there's going to be one of those, maybe football season instead. That'll be a sure thing, right?

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I'm an artist with an affinity for history who grew up in the shadow of Stone Mountain, so it should be no surprise that I have a special soft spot for public portraiture sculpture. As you can imagine, I have very mixed feelings about 2020's approach to statues of the past.

Jefferson Davis should be no one's hero. I've been to Richmond, Virginia, and I've seen their monument to a man who defined his political career by trying to force the enslavement of an entire race of men. The monument is a disgusting tribute to the traitorous Lost Cause, and it should have been removed from the public space long before now. Should it be destroyed? It will always have propaganda value for the wrong kind of people; perhaps the only appropriate solution is to melt it down so that it cannot become a subversive icon, the same way there are no longer statues in the wild of Stalin or Saddam Hussein. I have a nostalgic emotional connection to the carving on Stone Mountain, but I rationally accept the world may be a better place without it.

But let's not get carried away. There is a difference between statues dedicated to perpetrators of genocide and hatred and statues of complicated political leaders whose actions have contributed directly to our current freedoms. Without Winston Churchill, whose statue is currently under assault in London because the man had unconscionable views about Indians, it's very likely that the only statues in Britain would be of Adolf Hitler, who wasn't exactly enlightened about race relations himself.

In the past, I've laughed off reactionary arguments that if we allow people to tear Robert E. Lee off his bronze horse, hammers would next come down on monuments to George Washington. Maybe that's not as crazy as I thought. America in 2020 wouldn't exist if Washington hadn't been the man he was in 1776, but he did own slaves in his day and that seems to be criteria enough in the current climate to have him blasted off Mount Rushmore. Washington was by no means a perfect person, but should perfection be the standard for which statue is allowed to stand and which isn't? I can't think of too many idolized men who can clear that bar. Maybe just Christ of the Ozarks, the Lincoln Memorial, and this guy:

Look, up!

So begone with your racist Alexander H. Stephens (no relation) and greedy Christopher Columbus statues if you must, but let's reconsider what modern life might be like without slave-loving Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase or colonialist Teddy Roosevelt's trust-busting and national park conservationism before we add them to the scrapheap. We could always use the reminder that not all great men who built our civilization were good.

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My Memorial/Independence Day yard art:

America still needs your help!

And a closer image from his inside stand (each painting so far has it's own foot so that it can be displayed in the house between visits to the yard):

Based on art by Marvel Comics

I created Captain America about two feet taller than Santa Claus because he's someone everyone should look up to. (Santa Claus, on the other hand, is a dirty socialist.)

Happy Memorial Day!

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To be continued...

 

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