Oil on board, 2005
Collection of the artist
I have stolen the pose and epaulettes from a portrait of Robert E. Lee done in his early manhood (1830s) while dressed in his US Army uniform. My blue-jean jacket is from the GAP (see button). My officer's commission is from myself. I have always painted the figure and usually myself starting in 1979 or so. My style has changed, as have my outside interests, which influence how I address or dress myself. In this case I am interested in the Civil War and have made a persona for myself using it. To quote James Brown, "This is a man's world," and I hardly disagree. I am covetous of many things in it. I use painting to give myself a chance at the glory that seems to be only the domain of men; in this case a begilded Officer of the US Army. Even if women do well these days in fields newly open to them, men still look better wearing the outfits and doing whatever it is. Who would YOU rather be, Jimi Hendrix or Melissa Etheridge?