It is commonly said that the world changed on Nine-Eleven, but it really didn’t.
On Nine-Eleven we were still using our old way of thinking to attempt to wrap our brains around the tragedy that was so senseless and of such enormous scale that we were initially unable to comprehend it. On Nine-Eleven we had not yet decided how to react to the realization that barbarians would attack innocent civilians on US soil for no rational reason, for no possible tactical gain, for no possible political advantage… for no reason other than the insane desire to cause pain.
It was very effective, it caused a great deal of pain. The question then became, how do you defend yourself, or a nation, against insanity? Resilience is your only defense, and we are resilient.
The title of this painting, “Nine-Twelve”, refers to the day after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, and all of the days since. All of the design elements are intended to be symbolic and stimulate thought about how the world has changed – the Gargoyle, the relief carving of the turban wearing man, the US flag, the name of the bar (Embassy), the crescent moon painted on the building in the shadow of the floodlit US Flag, the fiery sky, the nearly totally hidden sign painted on a background building (it is part of a sign for “Federal Reserve Bank”, a nod to the tinfoil hat wearing crowd out there…), and the “new wind blowing” the curtains in the window – all have meaning. The Hotel is named ASTOR because it has an old-timey sound to it; it represents stability and prosperity. There is a television playing inside an apartment window, calling attention to CNN and the televised “instant news” that dominates our lives post 9-11.
The painting is intended to make the viewer speculate about who or what represents the biggest threat, what threats are real, and what threats are imagined. It is also intended to make you wonder if, in our efforts to protect our safety and freedom, we have instead surrendered it to a new master.
Unfortunately, with the recent mass shootings and the unprovoked attacks on Law Enforcement Officers, we have been reminded that the people of a civilized free society will always be vulnerable to injury initiated by psychopaths, sociopaths and madmen, even psychopaths, sociopaths and madmen living among us.
This is one of those paintings you will either love or hate. If you do not like it, I am sorry… but the world ain’t all bubblegum and fluffy kittens.
Image and text © 2015 James Golaszewski
Breathe deep the gathering gloom,
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament,
Another day’s useless energy spent.
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one,
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son,
Senior citizens wish they were young.
Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colors from our sight.
Red is gray and yellow white.
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion???.
From “Nights in White Satin” which is a 1967 single by The Moody Blues, written and composed by Justin Hayward and first featured on the album Days of Future Passed. The spoken-word poem heard near the six-minute mark of the album version of the song is called “Late Lament”. Drummer Graeme Edge wrote the verses, which were read by keyboardist Mike Pinder.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.