God, Goddard, Gog and Magog
48" x 96", oil , 1990

I have always been fascinated by great minds and the events surrounding them. Edison was probably the most prolific and influential inventor man has ever known. Other lesser known but equally great minds have had their knowledge and subsequent inventions used for less than noble purposes. American physicist Robert Hutchings Goddard is a perfect example of this. Goddard, the father of rocketry, was the first to build and launch a liquid-fueled rocket. He was motivated by his desire to travel to the moon and beyond. His discoveries would become a focal point in a battle between good and evil.

Since most of Goddard's discoveries came at the beginning of the 20th century, his knowledge of rocketry was used for military purposes. Embroiled in a state of pre-world war tensions coupled with the fact that man was not technologically capable of sending a man to the moon, his knowledge could only be used for war. This is where Gog and Magog come in.

In biblical prophecy they are the heathen nations led by Satan intent on destroying the kingdom of God. Some biblical scholars have compared Gog and Magog to dictators such as Hitler and Saddam Hussein. If you believe in this theory, then the 20th century has repeatedly supplied us with ultimate battles of good versus evil (God versus Gog and Magog). Caught in the middle of this is Goddard, hence the title of the painting.

The painting was laid out in a simple way. The ant at the center of the painting represents a simple form of thought or existence. The brush strokes originating at the center of the painting and expanding as we move outwards signifies a chain reaction of thought or of atoms. Curiously, the ant is one of the few living things that would survive a nuclear holocaust.

In this painting, I tried to say as much as possible by doing as little as possible. It took me an hour and a half to do this one. For me, a realist painter, venturing into the abstract was necessary to better understand my penchant towards realism. After completing this work, I felt a moderate degree of satisfaction, but it was nowhere near the degree of guilt I felt at completing a work so easily. I guess I needed the technical challenge realism demands of me.