As the 50 year anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (November 22, 1963), and the subsequent death of his suspected killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, two days later, I find it fitting that Chris just finished this piece this week. I came into the office today to find it in a new place on the wall here at Madison Studios. Of all of the days, a traveler from Ontario, Canada came into the gallery while snapping pictures of downtown Madison’s storefronts and streets. The man was a self professed “Kennedy Buff” who had a connection on his grandmother (who was born a Kennedy)’s side to our late Commander-In-Chief. The visitor came in and marveled at both the content and style of the painting.
The piece is Chris’s depiction of Jack Ruby assassinating Oswald just 2 short days after he, according to our government, killed JFK. The style of the painting was inspired by Guernica, a piece by Pablo Picasso that depicts the violence and devastation that came from the bombing of Guernica, Spain by the Germans during the Spanish Civil War. I think that this painting really helps to demonstrate the versatility of how a southern artist can pull from very classical paintings and incorporate them stylistically into a work that is still uniquely his own.
Rather than harp on the conspiracies and coverups that surround the events that shook our nation 50 years ago, Chris chose to base the style off of the Picasso pice to reflect the savage and violent nature of humanity. The violence that surrounded the attack on Guernica shook Spain much like the attack on our President did for the US back in ’63. The style of the painting is very much like that of Picasso’s depiction of the disaster after the bombing.
Where were you when Kennedy was shot? What are your thoughts on those who claim it was all a conspiracy? What do acts like the shooting, and the bombing of a village is Spain say about the state of our world?
More information on the artist can be found at http://www.chriscookartist.com/bio.html