King Kong, 2005 Oil on linen 44 × 56 inches
King Kong, 2005
Oil on linen 44 × 56 inches

I was thinking of ending the show with the Dorothy painting, a freeze-frame of confused pathos, like in the end of the "400 blows," but felt compelled to paint this painting, really portraying a version of what she might be looking at "the end of the world." I have also always wanted to paint this image as it was large black and white poster of this was tacked to my bedroom wall when I was a child, and I have always loved it.

I teach a section of my senior class at NYU on King Kong (the voodoo nature of stop-motion animation-so fake its real!), and we discuss the allegorical associations with the narrative, in addition to looking at the formal attributes of a "moving sculpture" that has been obsessively "rendered" in that it appears to be "breathing life." There are obviously colonial references throughout the film, and it is about race and slavery as much as anything else. I, however, have a real interest in the iconographic power of anthropomorphosized animals to portray humans, and feel for me that gorillas, monkeys, and humans in animal suits are representative of human beings, sentient animals that are trained and conditioned to act within ideological power structures.

I painted this during the entire Hurricane Katrina debacle, in despair of what was happening and how it represents capital at its worse: the disregard of people, our environment, and our world for the sake of profit and corporate greed. Kong is all of humanity, and perhaps nature itself, reacting in rage and pathos to what man has created and its subjugation by a belief system that threatens to annihilate itself and bring on "the end." (2005)