122 x 203cm

Visions of Spain in a Paranoid Russia
48" x 80", watercolor, acrylic, and oil, 1990

In 1990, I did four giant sized paintings. This one is a hommage to Salvador Dali. In the mid 1930's, Dali fled Spain which was on the brink of civil war. Russia was deeply involved in this conflict as it took sides with the Loyalists, supporters of the Republic. Dali travelled extensively in Europe during the Spanish Civil War but finally settled in the United States.

It was Dali's post WWII paintings that interested me. During this period, he started painting in the style of the Old Masters concentrating on atomic theory and religious themes. It is at this time that Russia began producing nuclear weapons while repressing religious expression. This painting combines elements of Dali's thoughts and Russia's positions on both of these subjects.

Detail #1: This part of the painting shows a laborer's wrench with construction glove tightening an eye. The eyes represent both the eyes of the government and the nuts and bolts of a communist society. The eyes were placed in a grid pattern which is typically Orwellian. The cutting of the bread is the sharing of the body of Christ.

Detail #2: The man at the top represents the Russian government. He is presiding over everything in a paranoid totalitarian way. The twelve pieces of bread represents the apostles at the last supper. Viewed at a distance, the dozen pieces of bread in conjunction with the vertical center of the painting represents the crucifix.

Detail #3: The blood dripping from the hand of Christ turns into wine. The fish (a religious symbol in the bible) represents the female sexual anatomy in Dali's world. Dali and his surrealist contemporaries designated the fish as such. The barbed wire represents Christ's own crown of thorns but in this painting, it is a sexual deterrent. The man reaching out and snapping off the top of the flower is from the Russian government. The two bees hovering over the flower are the two criminals crucified with Christ.

Basket Detail (acrylic)
Knife Detail (acrylic)

Flower Detail (acrylic & oil)
Fish Detail (acrylic & oil)

Head Detail (acrylic)
Hand Detail (acrylic)

Wrench Detail (oil)
Glass Detail (oil)

Nathalie Detail (acrylic)