"New World Diesel" (2005)
7ft by 2ft
Acrylic on canvas
"People who look for meaning in art will have an easy time with this painting. Usually I like to put enough stuff in a painting so that people can come up with a meaning but rarely is there one specific meaning I'm trying to capture. It's like if there's a traffic accident on the street and 20 people witness it, you'll have 20 different stories of what happened. So it's the concept of multiple truths. Each person living their own truth in the world.
So this painting is pretty obviously trying to say something about the power struggle over oil and religious idealism in the world. Clash of cultures. Fighting in the streets. The little bit of Arabic in the middle was my favorite part about this painting because as I was painting this the Iraqi's were holding their first elections and also the NBA all-star balloting was taking place. And on the NBA website you could vote for your favorite player to play in the all-star game. There was a little button that said "vote here" in all different languages including arabic. So, apparently that's what it says.
I like playing with multiple meanings. So staying with the mosque-like building in the center, I tried to play on the doorways acting as archways but then also resembling the infamous arches we've all come to recognize. The word "free" appears next to the arabic for "vote here" playing on double meanings of freedom and an eye catching advertisement.
So these are the little ways that I try to put meaning into my paintings. It's pretty happenstance,- just like life is. Next time you visit an art museum and walk out the doors keep looking at things as if it's still art. For me, it's less about what it means and more about how it feels. It's not just rational response but a intellectual/emotional response.
I spent about a week on it."
By Brian Barneclo