The paintings of Michael Ward, self taught artist. Michael paints primarily urban landscapes, in acrylic on canvas, based on photographs he has taken over the years.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Twilight of Empires
This painting depicts Monrovia's Aztec Hotel, designed by architect Robert Stacy-Judd, and erected in 1925. I have named it Twilight of Empires as it depicts the decline and decay of at least 3 empires, the Aztec (or Mayan), the Spanish, and the American. The flamboyant decoration of the building is layered on in movie-set fashion, and has not fared well over the decades, just as it's inspiration has been similarly, though less rapidly, degraded by time. The figures, added from another photo, represent the decline of American (or white American, at least) hegemony. They are perhaps Mesoamerican, perhaps Polynesian. The chaotic pattern of the woman's dress mimics the chaotic detailing of the building. The child's hand is pointing perhaps to the future, perhaps to the decaying edifice, perhaps to the gods above, ever ready to quash human folly. I have changed the building number on Barber Shop to coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar.
Perhaps fittingly, the hotel now has Chinese owners.