This piece was something of a personal, and spontaneous, creation of mine; painted amid a crunch of aircraft relic display production and sales that had me running like a roach early in 2020. It's glorious to enjoy success as an artist - but, sometimes you have to pour yourself into a side project. This was the result.
It's a combination of several influences: a spin off of the '40s American 'Rosie the Riveter' graphic, a measure of self-portrait, and my personal view of human strength. There is probably more of 'me' in this piece than anything I've ever created, but I don't want to elaborate too much, lest I take away from what others may see in it if given the opportunity to interpret it without being coached by the artist.
Its historical context is something I left deliberately in shadow. If you look closely, this person is a female Russian Red Army sniper; some of the bravest fighters of World War II. She is, more overtly, a blend of expressive emotions. Her rifle is a captured German 98k. She wears a mixed uniform, mostly general issue, but with a captured Wehrmacht long coat. What she's seen, and where she is going - all of that I've left open to interpretation. What I will draw attention to, is what is not illustrated in this piece: There are no medals of distinction, no polish, no glory, no 'action', no stereotypes of bravery on display. Just pressing forward. One foot in front of the other.
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Anyone who lives in Zanesville, Ohio probably gets the joke in this piece without explanation. I've depicted a locally famous underpass, off of our also famous y-bridge, that has been...
Cropped close-up: The Look.
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