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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Political Statement or Desecration?

"You can't desecrate the flag that way!"

"But it's my artistic expression of my opinion on religious zealotry and separation of church and state!" I protested.

She would not be budged. Never mind that it was just a small little 3 inch decorative flag meant for table top decor on Fourth of July picnic tables. Never mind how many of them will just be thrown into garbage, while I am preserving this one into a very poignant statement that expresses my love of my country.

All my wife heard was two words "burn" and "flag" and the rest may as well have come from Charlie Brown's teacher.

Great. So the Jesus hanging from the syringe of steroids causing a nuclear explosion scared her, and now the burnt and tattered flag insults her. I wonder what else about this painting is going to upset the Wifester. This is the first time she has ever come right out and disapproved of one of them. Oh, she's offered constructive criticism here and there, but in the end, she usually likes them. And my writing, oh wow, she has no problem pointing out how verbose I can be, or when I misspell or use improper grammar. She LOVES to find my run on sentences and double negatives and oxymoron's. She even fact checks me. Regularly. I'm not even kidding.
But this aversion to my art is something new.

Oh sure, there was that one time with the naked mermaid, when her aunt and cousins were coming to town...but that wasn't a disapproval of the art, or the content of it. It was a concern she had for the children who would be visiting, and their exposure to naked mermaid breasts. Besides, the "CENSORED" label that I taped across her chest makes a statement, I think, and I kind of like that piece just like that. I've kept the "Censored" label on her just because I liked it, so that all worked out for the best in the end.

I cannot compromise on this one. The flag must be burned.

There are still a few more elements I want to add to it, but here's what I've done so far:

You may remember I started with this:

and I wasn't really sure where to take it. I set it aside for a while and worked on other things. I came back to it and this is how it has gone:

And because the painting shares the same name as a poem I wrote last year, and is in fact inspired by that poem, I thought I'd share it with you again:

Religion on Steroids

The phone ring, ring, rings,

and I ignore the incessant tone

of Patriarchy submerged in Zealotry:

Religion on steroids, I muse

Closing my eyes, I imagine ignorance

Feeling its warm embrace

for too brief a moment...

In a flash, its gone with the ring, ring, ring

of technology's death to privacy

Bringing me back again

To the persistant realization

that you are no longer the people

I once knew.

Angela J. Schleicher © 2008

1 cookies cracked:

Karen said...

I think that you are very talented artist. And no piece of art that is meant to make a statement will be pleasing to everyone.

You know how we all have our personal code? Some people won't eat meat. Some will wear fur. Some will smoke joint after work to relax. Some go to church daily.

I guess flag honor are a lot like that. Some people are more strict with flag honor than others. Doesn't make anyone right. Doesn't make anyone a "better" American.

But your piece surely invoked thought, conversation and controversy...just as you had hoped. Good job!