Saturday, April 18, 2009

Artist- Justine Lai


Any of these guys look familiar? Well if you were paying attention in history class you might recognize them as United States Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Millard Filmore, and James Madison.

The artist, Justine Lai has completed 18 paintings in the series she's entitled ‘Join or Die’. Her plans are to put every US President down on canvas chronologically. The last completed work in the series thus far is Ulysses S. Grant (President from 1869-1877), so there's a ways to go before we see what she's got in mind for Bubba, Dubya or Obama.

"In Join Or Die, I paint myself having sex with the Presidents of the United States in chronological order. I am interested in humanizing and demythologizing the Presidents by addressing their public legacies and private lives. The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable institution; by inserting myself in its timeline, I attempt to locate something intimate and mortal. I use this intimacy to subvert authority, but it demands that I make myself vulnerable along with the Presidents. A power lies in rendering these patriarchal figures the possible object of shame, ridicule and desire, but it is a power that is constantly negotiated."

Want to see the rest? Click on the photo above to link to visit Justine's website to view the other evocative paintings in the series.


Jill said...

Well this is certainly interesting. Which President does she have bent over? The one with Lincoln is quite surreal. Bravo...this is probably my favorite post of all the blogs I read today!!

The TownhouseLady said...

Ah, the bent over one. That would be James Madison. He's believed to have to have been gay as he never married and lived with a man. I guess that's why she's pulling a power play on him.

I'm dying to know what the thought is behind the John Tyler (two fingers pointed into the mouth).

Jill said...

I know! I consider myself fairly well rounded (in more ways than one) and I must admit...I've never seen that before. I wonder how she'll portray Clinton?