I have always been an admirer of the simplicity and bold statement of Jasper John's work. A couple years ago while on a flight to Los Angeles I thought of an idea for a flag piece of my own. With bullets. Living in the South, people tend to take their gun ownership rights pretty seriously. Well, very seriously, and I believe the hot news topic at the time was U.S. states claiming all rights to individually enforce gun laws, pro or con.
So, on my way to California where this was being a nationally discussed topic I had this idea. I didn't know the reaction it would attract when it went on display in a downtown Nashville high rise. It seemed like the younger residents "got" the statement, while the older residents complained loudly to the concierge desk and the president of the board.
The controversy of this painting spilled into a poignant conversation with a fellow artists. This person was adamant that I was supposed to explain my stance and reasoning for adding bullet casings and bullet holes to my representational flag piece. I thought this defeated the purpose of art entirely, for me anyway. But to each their own.
"State of America" copyright 2013. Mixed media on wood. Encaustic (as my nod to Jasper John), gold leaf, acrylic, spray paint.