Judy and Dorothy and OZ
Having grown up in rural Kansas, I have always had a super fascination with the Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland. And, as a gay man this attachment is only enhanced by her historical and cultural influence as such. The day Judy died three tornadoes touched ground 30 miles East of my hometown. On the day of her funeral, the Stonewall Riots erupted. This signaled the official beginning of the Gay Rights Movement. Ever since learning of this and other synchronistic events it is my journey to paint this series. Using surrealism, this work focuses on Judy Garland, the Gay Rights Movement and The Wizard of Oz. This series uses religious artwork from the 15th century as an influence. Artists used are ones such as Rogier van der Weyden and Jan Van Eyck. Other influential work includes late 19th Century Indian mythological art. I also explore the subject matter of the Wizard of Oz and its context within celebrity worship.