I recall a story of about George Grosz leaving the Great War emancipated from humanity, years later dressing up as a rich dandy, strolling about Paris openly hostile to governments of all shapes and sizes. The small-minded, fat cat leaders, coddled by the cowardice, fear, and knee-jerk, boring reaction of military weak men, humiliated, starved and mutilated an entire generation of hopeful youth over teeny-tiny rich people problems—Grosz would never forgive them their psychotic trespass…
Likewise I, as nobody painter, wake up a hundred years later on a Saturday morning eager to see the story of this art odyssey to Russia’s northern capital, only to discover in a news feed that the government men of both countries haven’t studied their lesson on Grosz, paying more attention to the racist Woodrow Wilson and the misanthrope Nicholas II. They are small-eyed, unloved men, incapable of art appreciation beyond the “state of the art” gallery at a munitions factory.
I will not speak for the painters a half a world away, except that I can see they are much more conscientious than I would be wrapping up art to travel on a train.
Still, this is how I feel… Our nation’s leaders are so dangerously behind the times. They are such small-eyed, spoiled-rotten, fearful dandys playing terrorist to billions of people. Their words fill me with dread… “Cold War”. Really? Says who? An old, rotten clump of oligarchs weaseling their weasel thrills in board rooms of New York and Moscow? I am the spirit of George Grosz. I am the one who despises these little men in big positions.
“No annihilation without representation” wrote Toynbee. I will decide if there is a cold war. Not Barack Obama. Not Dmitry Medvedev. People of earth, (excepting those of Syria, and other places where brown people sleep above the oil up and down dreams of nasty human beings) you can rest and relax easy. George Grosz and Ron Throop say that there is no cold war. In fact, we wake most mornings with a dream of Russian city and countryside, and international camaraderie. We feel born again without the tonic of a Jesus Christ or Muhammad Ali.
In spirit I am on that train heading north to the winter city. I have had it with the Great War, the World War, the Cold War, the Neo Cold War, the new new war of fabulously rich people’s problems.
I know that these great painters carry with them the keys to universal freedom and pursuit of contentment. Tonight I turn off the news feed once again to voice my “no-confidence” vote to the assembly of billionaire psychotics flailing our stupid government puppets on bungee cords.
Congratulations on your show. I promise this to be the last geo-political rant on a painter’s sacred site.