Karl Marx Twain, 2011
acrylic on canvas, 72" x 60"
“Karl Marx Twain” is both a pun and a devotional icon.
I grew up in Qunicy, Illinois, a Mississippi river town, 20 minute's ride from Mark Twain’s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. Because of this, the iconic american writer was a constant presence in my early life: as a respected author, but more often as a theme for kitschy tourist culture.
This painting is my way of redeeming Mark Twain from this tacky fate by giving him a halo of Karl Marx, and setting him in a dark world of my own imagination, some of which relates directly to the author and some of which must come from the stinky brown water of the River we share.