worst work

"The Royal Portrait Gallery cordially invites you to the debut of our latest acquisition.." v thin_v15.jpg

aerosol paint antechamber
Prinsessengracht 4
the hague


Dylann Roof
oil on canvas, paper, golden nail

bad work as the work of art that does bad work in the world, the immoral agent

the history of portraiture as the history of mass-murder.

Kings, generals, merchants - even Christ, the image of a man being executed. I am merely continuing this line.

Writing Label Text for a Museum Portrait
Instruction manual by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian

"The Struggle for Justice"
"A Brush with History"
"Americans Now"

"What do you think you know about this portrait or sitter?"

the fragility of history, how quickly the emotional charge of murder disappears from the image.

National Portrait Gallery Museum Label Writing Activity

"3. Biographical/historical, portrait/artist information (no more than 140 words)"

portrait label: Dylann Roof v thin_v15.jpg

to re-activate the emotional charge / disgust reflex to historical portraits, using a modern example where this charge is still intact.

painted quickly, in a morning. started same time as his massacre.
the painting as an act of violence, an 'execution'. v thin_v16.jpg


"the portrait of a doomed man"

should we proliferate the image of bad people?

1. No. that way they survive while their victims (and their crimes) are forgotten.

2. Yes. as depth-psychology teaches us, the only way to prevent future repetitions is to return to the thing that haunts us, to look it in the face, to understand it, and thereby heal. Avoidance only brings return. v thin_v22.jpg