That’s All Folks!, 2004 Oil on Linen 26 × 36 inches
That’s All Folks!, 2004
Oil on Linen 26 × 36 inches

I grew up addicted to Warner Brothers cartoons, and was glued to my television most Saturday mornings watching the fun violent antics of Bugs and friends, and respected the visionary power of the animators and their ideas that went beyond mere jokes to sometimes otherworldly territory and allegorically revealing the lighter, but also the darker, aspects of life. I related to their anthropomorphized subjects, and Bugs Bunny in some ways was the first empowered "gay" character, who would easily and proudly slip into drag, hung out a lot with his male friends without ever having a girlfriend, and would only seek revenge when first trod upon. In any event, I also loved the end and beginning credits, with the spirals would roll out, and sometimes even Porky Pig would exclaim "Th…th….the… THAT’S ALL FOLKS!." Originally the "ending" of my long narrative Hamlet 1999, I couldn’t help but also appropriate it for the "ending" of this narrative of My American Dream, or at the very least, the end of the "third act." To me, when I paint my "cartoon paintings" I try to physicalize the aesthetic aspects of the typeface and fonts, and to try to "get underneath" all the aspects of the cell painting and backgrounds, to try to bring something painterly and new to the appropriation, and unlike Warhol and Lichtenstein, who sometimes further "flattened the image" try to use the ability of oil paint to make the push and pull happen, and the plasticity of the oil paint to make the forms even more three dimensional. Here, I’m hoping that the negative space of the interior hole become whole, or spherical, three dimensional, like a planet, and the concentric rings like waves of a bomb going off—I see it as like a planet blowing up, hopefully not ours, but something like initialization, ironized by the cursive "That’s all Folks" font—its Revelations, with a Warner Brothers twist, like some crazy nightmare. I felt this and had nightmares like many of the kids of my generation growing up from the sixties, and in my despair in the height of the George W. years painted this image. I feel much better about our country and world over a decade later, but still there is the edge of the world coming to the brink of chaos, and I think apocalypse is a healthy fear to have so we do everything in our power not to come to the not so happy end…