untitled series, (babies with gun/cross)

"Untitled Series, (Babies with Gun/Cross)," 2009
Pricing upon request

When asked to make a statement about my paintings, I felt a burden to interpret the image.  My series was intended to be a fine art version of the Rorschach tests; each viewer digests the image with an immediate thought and is then confronted with the 'why?' of it all.  

The human race is a collective mix of histories, experiences and interactions. So often we find ourselves trying to convince others, or even ourselves, that our way of thinking is the correct way of thinking.  When broken down into the derivative, our current opinions can be found through our past experiences.  Whether sensationalized by the media, ingrained by our parents, or fortified by our peers, our perception is an amalgamation of influencing factors.  When presented with an engaging bit of gossip or controversial subject, we draw upon what information we have received and base our conclusions accordingly.  

Sometimes, we are privileged enough to be presented by something that evokes strong emotions of polarity; something that draws a line in the sand and discourages gray areas, uncertainty or sway.  A wise philosopher will be able to reason that there are infinite ways to view something; however, true underlying personal opinion or bias is undeniable.  We are biased creatures by nature, and it is better to recognize this inherent existence than to deny it.  When we confront that there are varying opinions of exact same items, then we can indulge in intellectually expanding discourse.  We can go out and experience, firsthand, other views and empower ourselves to make decisions that are not solely based on our experiences, but on others as well.  This is how we can become intelligent, contributive, and self-aware individuals.  

Babies with Guns is a commentary on one such topic that challenges our conscious.  I crafted a formulaic and generic image of an infant wielding a universally renowned object of immense power.  It would be difficult for anyone of intellectual capacity not to recognize the two images I have united.  As such, recognition of symbols and objects is imperative to deriving meaning of circumstantial combination. It is comparable to viewing a picture of a dog, and then viewing a picture of a dog curling up its lips to bear its teeth.  One image would appeal to people who enjoy the companionship or appreciation of dogs, the other could invoke a feeling of fear or distrust in a snarling beast.   However, couldn’t that snarling dog be protecting you too?  If the later were the case, a snarling dog might invoke feelings of loyalty, appreciation and solidarity.

The Babies with Guns have a connotation similar to a snarling dog.  They are meant to invoke an emotional reaction.  They are meant to invoke past experiences and cause the onlooker to query their past and draw a cohesive conclusion.  Parallel to the foregone idea that no two people share similar experiences, so are their stories of what the image of an infant holding a gun is attempting to state.  It is an image intended on deeper thought and discourse.  So ask yourself what do you think it means?

Personally, it is a commentary on the sides drawn and debated upon by politicians, lobbyists, farmers, hippies, sociologists and psychologists (etc.)  People who believe that violence or evil is human nature and those who believe it is nurtured into us.  It is an unavoidable image where even choosing not to engage in an internal debate of content is an explanation worthy of exploration.  The repetition of the image between different color palettes, sizes and textures further explores our over-exposure to the topic presented.  Our opinion of these images may be so deeply ingrained it may barely cause an emotional reaction.  However, take a moment to think of the different perspectives, and take a moment to conclude why you feel or think the way you do; or don’t.  So ask yourself, again, what do you think it is trying to say?