“Flesh and Blood Builds an Empire”
36×48 inches on canvas / acrylic, charcoal, graphite, ink, color pencil, paint pen / 2010 / Miami studio.
This piece is a diagram of all the elements used in the “Charlatan” group of works combine with elements the artist has been working with in his “empire” works. The background of this piece was originally inspired by a piece of artwork in the Philadelphia Museum of art entitled “The Charlatan” by Mexican modernist Jose Chavez Morada from 1942. The piece was a composition based on a traveling “snake oil” salesman making his pitch in the town square. The elements of the composition included, the salesman, a snake, and a bottle of the elixir and a chart of the human body. The artist connected with this piece on a visceral level. The artist had been splitting his time between Washington DC and Miami Florida – two places rife with charlatans. This piece was dissected by the artist and reconstituted to construction a framework to elaborate on his views on this matter. That background has been worked over to the point of its destruction. On top layers of this frantic composition are a jeweled skull and large cougar, both references to the history of Mexico and its societies organization prior to the landing of the Europeans.