Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Medusa Heap

Here is my Medusa Heap- a culmination of a year and a half of layering, sanding down, painting over and building back up of tangled flesh and garbage. The composition is superficially based on Gericault's Raft of Medusa.

Medusa Heap
acrylic on wood
36" x 49"
click on image for a larger size


click for larger version

This painting was originally inspired by the Killdozer- a heavily fortified bulldozer that Marvin Heemeyer, a disgruntled muffler shop owner, built in order to demolish the town hall of Granby, Colorodo.

From Wikipedia:

The piece of construction equipment used in the incident was a Komatsu D335A bulldozer fitted with makeshift armor plating covering the cabin, engine and parts of the tracks. In places, the vehicle's armor was over one foot thick, consisting of concrete sandwiched between sheets of steel to make ad-hoc composite armor. This made the machine impervious to small arms fire and resistant to explosives; three external explosions and over 200 rounds of firearm ammunition fired at the bulldozer had no effect on it. National Guard units were placed on standby orders under Governor Bill Owens, as the deployment order has to be made directly from the Governor due to requirement of Posse Comitatus Act.

For visibility, the bulldozer was fitted with three video cameras linked to monitors mounted on the vehicle's dashboard. Onboard fans and an air conditioner were used to keep Heemeyer cool while driving and compressed air nozzles were fitted to blow dust away from the video cameras. Food, water and life support were present in the almost airtight cabin. Heemeyer had no intention of ever leaving the cabin once he entered; the hatch was permanently sealed.

I was obsessed with the Killdozer picture above- it represented a lifetime of frustration culminating in a grand gesture of destruction but also of essential failure. The photo itself is a sad little thing...the Killdozer seemingly immobile and dead, a ramshackle pile of concrete and steel. I originally wanted to convey this and I think I was successfull, but as I worked into the piece more, I found the limitations of the rudimentary composition very aggravating. So, like the Killdozer, I did my own destruction and the piece ended up as a heap of tangled shit pushed up against a tree and forgotten, just as Marvin Heemeyer became after he shot himself in the Killdozer cabin after his fantastic rampage.


Nana Nicotina said...

I have to say: I've been looking at your artwork for a while [I mean, weeks] and I just can't get away from it. I keep coming back at your website and watching your paintings.
They intrigue me so in many ways, or what is more, they haunt me somehow. I think they're funny in some ways but also scary. And I think that's wonderful.
[by the way, I'm spanish, so don't mind if I spelled or said something wrong =D ]

Fatty Jubbo said...

wow! thank you, Nana. I'm glad you see the humor in them as well as that's something that's important to me. It's a fine can either come off as a fart joke one-liner or successfully get to that existential and deeper humor.

Your English is just dandy- much better than many native speakers!

farmerbob said...

How did your show go? I want to get one of those show catalogs. I love the new pieces my friend.

hellbirdman said...

I was stumbling hell on the net and damn if I did not find it.

Your stuff is intense and powerful.

If I was a ceo I would have some of the portraits you paint hanging in my office.

Art is hard.

Yours is good.

Go as far with it as you can afford young man.

bb (old man)