TAKE OFF THE HEAD 2021
Take off the Head 2020 is an installation-mural comprised of over 3,400 small painted portraits of heads of state, terrorists, religious and corporate leaders and other singular figures in the events of our time. Painted from photographs taken from print media, government, academic and N.G.O. websites, Take off the Head 2020 is a comprehensive survey of all those who possess power, senior office or positions of influence in the world today. Apart from my own compulsion to collect, the main intention of this work is to recreate my sensation of awe towards the complexity of events and inscrutability of social actors which any avid reader of newspapers will recognize. As regime changes occur new portraits are added. The paintings are hung in alphabetical order per the name of the subject. The installed paintings are flanked by two flags on flagpoles, themselves bearing images of black flags. A catalogue containing the names, nations of origin and positions of the subjects sits on a lecturn facing the installation. Opposite the installation hangs a painted text-frieze of Thomas Hobbes’ famous quote from his book Leviathan about the life of man in an ungoverned condition.
My Realist Flags are subverted symbols of nationhood. They are flags for the whole ungoverned world. The black flag is widely recognized as the banner for Anarchism, but the abstract representation of the black flag is not an advocation of Anarchism, but a reluctant acknowledgement of the anarchic condition of global affairs.