Scapegoat

Scapegoat
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Just added this to my portfolio

Holman Hunt’s weird and lurid little painting, mostly done at Usdum (that’s Mount Sodom to me) on the Dead Sea in Judea, fascinated me as a kid — a tiny day-glo nightmare with a rainbow (the one in Manchester anyway); compelling but obviously mad and a bit crappy.

I didn’t know that he had some sort of crazy millenarian christian zionist (they have those?) conviction that any jew seeing it would spontaneously convert to christianity. Hmmm …

And I thought the idea of casting a goat out into the wilderness, on Yom Kippur, to perish, and with it the sins and sorrows of the community with which it was invested, was barmy.

I find it horrible and shameful that our Modern, Civilised society can still so easily be convinced that voodoo shit like that might work.

Leech

leech
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It is grimly ironic that, as we have moved from an industrial to a service economy, our culture sneers at mac-jobs at one end of the social scale but reveres the parasitic pirates, pick-pockets and pimps at the other.

I had thought of it as a portrait of Richard Branson who is constantly refered to as an entrepreneur rather than the leech that he is … but I’m not sure if anyone would recognise it. One can be a little too cryptic.

Buster

buster
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A GBU-28 “bunker busting” 5000lb laser-guided bomb designed, or rather cobbled together, to smash hardened bunkers during the Iraq war.

Hardly used, the manufacturers found eager customers in the Israeli Airfoce who found it very efficient at demolishing appartments, mosques, hospitals and schools.

Aiming for the same sort of detached, alienated, ironic feel as Warhol’s gun, it’s as phallic as you could wish — eye in its nose … I’m just not comfortable with its boy toy computer desktop celebration.

Twoment

twoment
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Light through the gaps in the wall surrounding the West Bank.

The zip in Barnett Newman’s Onement was what joined both sides, not separated them.

One Pound One Vote

pound vote
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Who can argue with that?
FFS — who does?

One of those times when I was sure I’d had a great idea, the execution was hard but ultimately satisfying, the result is strong and direct and even beautiful in places … and yet … it doesn’t really stack up.

Faced with the shadow bankers and oligarchs who have bought our democracy, one just has to take their money back.

Mare Nostrum

medusa hand
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Just added this to my Portfolio.
Been struggling with this image for a while. Wanted to use Géricault’s Raft of The Medusa because of its articulation of, and call to, public outrage, which seems horribly absent nearly 200 years later.

It strikes me that The Mediterranean is what binds us in Europe to Africa rather than a moat dividing us.
To turn our backs on fellow people in ultimate need is to turn our backs on our humanity.

I originally had an image from a dream — a hazy mist, a milky, flat sea with tiny reaching hands breaking the oily surface like a matt of seeweed, bobbing rather than waving.
It was too dead, too final.
Just the one strong hand, of one of Géricault’s survivors, still striving, reaching for the horizon and dawn’s rescue was much more powerful and direct.

The Godfather

bibi-amalek
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Benjamin Netanyahu. Threatening … thug, gangster, player.

Beach Football

beach football
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Three of four Palestinian boys killed by Israeli shelling while playing football on the beach.

Obeisance

jimmy and charles
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Both resplendent in their chocolate-money medals, Jimmy Savile and Prince Charles indulge in mutual preening … and the body language …

It is indecent, and so unfair, of course, to remember or to remind …

They stand in the piazza outside Piero’s Flagellation of Christ and “unnoticed” in the background, over Jimmy’s shoulder …