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Best Deck Chair on the Titanic


First contemplate the image (free from any outside considerations), which is the only door to the actual content of the painting. Go beyond the obvious associations that most people have concerning the historical "Titanic", the Hollywood Titanic or the judgements the tragic sinking of the Titanic bring to mind ranging from hubris, decadence, vanity, the anger at the flaunting of wealth at the time of its maiden voyage, when economics were in dire straits both in the United States and the rest of the world. In my painting I sought to express the tension between the obvious symbolism and the metaphysical content or the spiritual state man finds himself in right now. As the title implies, ‘ The Best Deck Chair on The Titanic' symbolizes the breakdown of values based on life principles and even though the ship- world is sinking under this mass ’Hog in the Trough' behavior and the soulless materialism of this age, people still fail to confront the reality. The work was painted about 30 years ago and it was obvious even then that man was destroying his civilization and his planet, with on-going destruction ‘now’ spiraling out of control. So the combination of insane greed and overwhelming population growth, paralleled by technological rapid advancement has led to this cul de sac. The arts have the power to reveal man to himself but are generally ignored and are met with apathy, yet this is mans most powerful source of vision which throughout history has concretized mans dreams and ideals as witnessed by every great peak in man's erratic history such as the 5th Century Greeks, the Gothic period and the Renaissance. This image has a concentration or sum total of that direction of consciousness needed to create a new age. First class or steerage, we are all on that Titanic voyage ; all seven billion of us!