Superman, 2004 Oil on Linen 42 × 34 inches
Superman, 2004
Oil on Linen 42 × 34 inches

Superman is a painting appropriated from the very first comic strip that Siegel & Shuster created, from Jerry Siegel’s writing and Joe Shuster’s art. I grew up loving Superman, and like many iconic avatars that children suture into, he helped to form a non-religious model of what it takes to be a good person, and was inspired by the comics to create my narratives today.   Superman of course is an assimilation story, and Siegel & Shuster, like most of the early American comic creators, were Jewish, and Superman was a vehicle for them not just to entertain the masses, but also to allegorically speak about their own plight to be great Americans.   I painted this during the Bush/Kerry debates, and unconsciously felt afterwards that he resembles a bit Kerry, who I was for during this time to help to save America.  I feel that post-Warhol, instead of just appropriating comics in a Duchampian mode, it is my job to bring emotion to the image for what it projects from me, and how, as like a method-actor, I try to step into the shoes of the characters I’m portraying, can help to bring them to life.  Superman feels pensive to me, like I felt about New York, post 9-11, during this time, and I hope that the repeated lines of the arms and hands indicates movement and feeling.  Bringing color naturally to the appropriated image of a patinaed newspaper image, Superman also feels to me a bringing an old world, black and white world to help save the more colorful 21-century.   Also unconsciously, as I painted, the letters in his name seem to emphasize the letters S PERM AN and I like this, as it perhaps satirizes gently the perhaps aware of the Patriarchal undertones of the image (along with the phallic building behind him), while still hopefully carrying the warm feelings I have for this great character that still as important today as when he was first created.



[INLINE IMAGE: superman.jpg]
Warhol, Superman, 1961, from the collection of Gunter Sachs