Buy A Senator Auction

Buy A Senator advertisement
Buy A Senator handbill

The portrait paintings from the Blood On Their Hands series were auctioned in NYC! A tidy sum was delivered to the Parkland Victim’s fund as well as the Brady Campaign to support gun control. Bedford & Bowery covered the auction.

Oddly, the European press really picked up the story. My portrait of Senator Ron Johnson was pictured in monopol, a German magazine.

Senator Ron Johnson portrait at auction, in Monopol magazine (German).
Senator Ron Johnson portrait at auction, in Monopol magazine (German).

Though art about gun violence doesn’t get much media attention here, the Europeans reward work like this with attention and the support of column inches. Perhaps its related to their perception of us fighting for what they already have – a kind of domestic peace that can more easily allow trust between strangers. . . This article, in the Belgian press, is in Dutch, and includes the short film made about the project; another German publication includes the same photos used in the monopol piece.

In any event, many of the works sold, including my portrait of Paul Ryan. Word was the buyer’s mother lives in Janesville, and was hoping to take a snapshot holding the painting in front of his house. We’ll see 🙂  Leah Barrett, ED of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, did deliver a print to Speaker Ryan in July of 2016 . . .

Leah Barrett delivers my portrait, Paul Ryan "Thoughts and Prayers", as a color print on paper, to Paul Ryan.
Leah Barrett delivers my portrait, Paul Ryan “Thoughts and Prayers”, as a color print on paper, to Paul Ryan.

BOOK OF JAMES { for parkland }

BOOK OF JAMES ⚡️ Dear members of Congress sending your thoughts and prayers to Florida AGAIN for this mass shooting. ⚡️ Your hands are busy endorsing checks sent you by the NRA, you can’t grasp at their dollars and clasp your hands to the Lord at the same time ⚡️You wave your faith at your constituents to get elected, then let them be cut down by weapons you yourselves have the power to regulate ⚡️ These lines chiding you come from the Book of James. It’s a book in the Bible you hold up with the flag and apple pie proclaiming your fitness for office. ⚡️After prostituting your faith to gain access to political office, you do NOTHING in service if the LORD of life you claim to worship ⚡️ This latest crop of unnecessary angels were made on Ash Wednesday, the opening of the season of repentance in Catholicism. ⚡️Speaker Ryan wears his Catholicism on his sleeve to keep his government job. Will he repent this Lenten season?⚡️You are, as the Bible you say is yours, already dead. ⚡️I spit on your graves. ⚡️#repent #liars #thoughtsandprayers #enough

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Blood On Their Hands

After the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida a collective of artists made portraits of those Senators who had repeatedly chosen to not create reasonable restrictions on gun purchases in the U.S. The Senator Portrait Project involved over 40 artists from across the US. As a Wisconsin artist, I contributed a portrait of Senator Ron Johnson, who, in 2016, had already received over 1.3 million dollars from the NRA.

Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wi
Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wi

When the opportunity for exhibition in NYC arose, they asked for a picture of the Speaker of the House. As he hails from Janesville, WI, again, I volunteered. Ryan wears his Catholicism on his sleeve to get his re-elections, yet persistently blocks reasonable regulation of handheld murder machines. He is in a position to act, yet offers thoughts and prayers as he pockets donations from the gun lobby.

House Speaker Paul Ryan
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Janesville)

Each painting combines digital composition with indictments of each by text-based description of their actions with painting (watercolor for Ron, oil for Ryan) and Ryan’s halo is gilded. 8″ x 10″ images mounted on panel.