“Revolution’s Forgotten”

Painted with acrylic, this piece depicts the idea of cultural denial. Denial of the rich to the poor. I titled it in this way (calling it “Revolution’s Forgotten”) to draw in the political conversations about the French Revolution; you know the one, about wreckage and the breakdown of the social order of things; violence and civil unrest.  Due to elite decadence. This painting was inspired by a trip I took to Paris, in 2001.  I was affected by the stories of France’s revolutionary past when visiting The Louvre. Ah, I saw such artistic representations of the struggle for “Equalité, Liberté et Fraternité” – and found it breathtaking. Being French of course probably had something to do with it. 

I also saw Les Misérables at the Savoy theatre, in London, at that time, so that had something to do with it as well. My impressions are conveyed:  The painting, like this,  is supposed to illustrate the traditionally understood notion of juxtaposition.  Explored -on- a canvas.  For example; the wide gap between rich and the poor.  It can be polarized as an image in one’s mind when depicted in art.

Hopefully that’s what the painting captures for you. I tried to paint this idea of two-dimensionality, as if trying to be a copy-cat of, say, Chagall’s style.  My theme is of course aristocratic decadence gone awry. Defeated.  But, all but momentarily, as we know from history. Three socialite ladies remain. Dressed in their once prefect-and-fancy wears they are tattered and yet still, the ladies are absorbed only in themselves.  This is contrasted against soot-covered street men, looking so devious.  Like a fresh mob.  On the make, just waiting there, watching, happy for the looting that’s just taken place.  This, surrounded, by, but a backdrop of broken grails and damaged railings of what was once a classic Courtyard;  in the distance; dilapidated boats symbolize the squandering of the rich. 

These are signs of the ruins of the revolution.  A suffering of the people and a society in  a power transition.  Somehow amidst all this devastation – there is a boy (a sort of French version of the Oliver Twist character).  Looking right out.  Peering out from the surreal – to us, the viewer.  He is the only active subject; perhaps, signaling the days to come. Not necessarily good days but hard days, to come.

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