Monday, May 26, 2008

Just reporting the news?

Me?  I'm thinking for the first time that this is not really true.  I have said previously that I try to make the portraits I use for my annotated paintings be neutral in spirit.  Upon reflection, and in light of the language found two posts down about finding the "assholeness" in the mouth, this is clearly nonsense.

My boy Frankie Goya is sometimes referred to as the proto-photojournalist because of his etchings of French soldiers executing Spanish and Portuguese prisoners in the early 1800s.  But I'm not Goya.  Not, many might suggest, by a long shot.  Although I don't think his stuff was particularly neutral in the first place, so maybe I am, at least so far as this whole painter as newscaster thing goes.

In either case, it came home to me over the last couple of days that Jimmy Cayne is a more negatively slanted portrait than either Murdoch or Spitzer (although each has its moments--the little curlicue of a smile playing on the side of Murdoch's mouth makes me happy every time I look at it.  Likewise the heavenward, holier-than-thou gaze of Big Eliott).

Some nitwit--it may have been Campbell Brown--accused me of "piling on" with my Spitzer painting.  My response was that I try to let the annotators determine the tone of the painting.  That said, I'm doubting that there are a lot of people in the Bear Stearns office who are still loving Jimmy Cayne.

So I guess I'm not just painting the news.

I apologize if this causes you discomfort.


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