All Paintings In This Series Are Acrylic On Panel except A.D.H.D. - Acrylic On Canvas
The process of putting hidden messages in songs, usually spoken in reverse. Backwards masking is most often used in rock and roll records and messages are typically Satanic. Schools across the USA banned records from educational facilities during the 1980's to protect students. Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest were both unsuccessfully sued by parents of fallen teens over their supposed influence . The singer sits in the middle of the painting blindfolded, writing the lyrics being transmitted via music sheets and satellites. His band mates and producer watch from the recording studio while a live performance roars below them. Famous songs said to have backwards messages in them are Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven", Styx's "Snowblind", and Rush's "Anthem"
A painting about college and binge alcohol consumption. "Twenty One Shots" is a real drinking game for young adults to celebrate their twenty first birthdays and initiation into legal drinking age. You literally have to take twenty one shots. The liver is a fraternity house, the stomach a sorority. The overall organ diagram represents different stages of drunkeness, from tipsy and fun, all the way down to having your stomach pumped in the emergency room. Some even drink themselves to death and must have their bodies boated out and flushed down a sea of piss
The most tragic possible result of a failed educational system. Eight of the nine screens show the action live as the bloodshed commences. The camera in the top center was knocked out by a stray bullet. Bodies pile up until the killers commit suicide like the one in the middle is about to. Bang!
A painting about how going to school sucks. Teenagers are picked up in prison labor fashion by bus and transported to their assigned camps. They might learn a thing or two, but the main purpose is to turn them into productive members of society. Subconsciously they police each other, reporting and gossiping about abnormal behavior, a teenage wasteland of a factory. Picking up steam, the engine grows faster and stronger. One day the educational rumor mill is substituted for one of commerce. Most make it to maturity, but some, like the poor kids in the lower left and right apartments, can't bear showering and suiting up for another 5 day week, and must be replaced with fresh belts and hoses.
A coming of age piece about sexual guilt, particularly in high school. The entire painting is a calendar of one girl's sexual escapades; a redhead, cowering small in the lower middle, unable to cover up rumors spread all over her sexual history. Real accounts on almost all 365 days filled in, with fictionalized accounts spray painted on top. Her classmates walk up and down the spatial museum of perversion, studying one fact or laughing about another. And although everyone's calendar is different, they're all subject to ridicule; especially a blank one.
I like to compare my concept painting series to my favorite musican's concept studio LP's, and have been doing so since I embarked on making them. Most albums have a "title track". I consider this the title track to "Special Education". Instead of the adults nurturing the children it's the able minded nurturing the disabled. Lending helping hands across the land, playing hop scotch and finger painting. High five!
A painting about medication for children, name brands typically called ritalin, adderall and dexerine. Supposedly they help children professionally diagnosed as ADHD focus and learn better, even though structure wise they are near identical to illegal crystal methamphetamine. I've always bounced off the walls when I've taken them, grinding my teeth, unable to eat, before crashing like a jet plane. A regular croak of a speed freak. Who's doing what's best for their kids, parents that medicate or those that don't?
The grand finale of "Special Education", I borrowed the title from the unrelated failed academic policy of the United States. This painting encompasses the message I wanted the series as a whole to convey; that adults, particularly in fields directly involved, don't always have kid's best interests at heart. Forced institutions shape the youth of tomorrow into preserving and passing on those same institutions to their kids, over and over again, forever. Advances can be made in other studies but education, money and religion will always reign supreme as the ultimate measuring sticks for intellectual potential, personal worth and moral standard. They work in the majority of cases, keeping minds of maturing youth confined to traditional beliefs like they were meant. "Sacrificing" potential for change, individuality, and originality, in order to preserve themselves first and foremost; little or no regard paid to the damage they doing to innocent kids in the process