Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Nothing Too Raunchy, and Stay Off the Face"

This was the title of a quickie piece about one of my Bernanke paintings from New York Magazine several years ago.  Read it here.  But it holds even today ...

The Annotated Uncle Sam is finished.  I think.  Actually no.

I wrestle with the idea of inscribing, verbatim, as much of the beginning of Moby Dick as will fit on his blue pants.  More significantly, I wrestle with what to do with the face.  I tried a life-like paint job, only some of which you saw here, and I changed his hair from white to gray.  But I didn't like any of it.

Now, and please forgive me, the thinking is to paint the whole head and hair a lovely gloss white, then scrawl across the forehead the words "Don't Write On the Face".  Which is not so dissimilar, really, from the above.

But wait -- there's more!  Although a few people have written on the underside of the brim of the hat, I'm considering moving those annotations to the jacket and painting the underside of the brim red.  This will do two things:  first, it will nicely echo the blue pants and, by doing so, lock in the red, white and blue color scheme.

Second, and this is lovely just to think about, the pearly white of the face and hair will reflect some of the red of the underside of the brim and take on the sort of rosy demeanor one would expect from Uncle Sam himself.  Thus, at least conceptually, I will have painted the face.

It's like when you install red carpet in a room with white walls, they then appear, to the eye, as being the very lightest shade of red rather than the white they used to be.  At least that's the theory.


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