by Jerome du Bois
There's an amazing sculpture up now at the Heard Museum, part of a new show called La Realidad, by some artist with a forgettable name. Anyway, the sculpture:
It's a 20-foot statue, made of papier-mache, of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Although she's fully clothed, it's obvious she's visited a breast man in BevHills. The traditional needles of light have been replaced by syringes, like the Acid Queen from Tommy, and, like Her, she bears a look of wide-eyed fanaticism. Most tellingly, she is lifting her right leg and foot to send a bunch of little brown Indians flying northward to the USA. Inscribed on the base: Andale! Andale! Reconquista!
Heck. You don't believe me. And you're right not to. Who could get something so un-PC past some piss-elegant committee at the Heard? But if you're American citizen (born here) Hector Ruiz, who loathes the USA, you may do stuff like this:
Like the King Kong blonde, who clutches a tiny, hapless businessman in her manicured hands. Misogyny? Nah, because no one in this tableau comes off as noble. Not the lasso-wielding Dubya-esque cowboy straddling the airplane piloted by Jesus. Nor the Stetson-hatted Hoss who sits behind him, clutching a missile as if it were a spear. Not even the Statue of Liberty gets off Ruiz's hook. In his version, Lady Liberty's foot is raised as if she's about to kick the shit out of the huddled masses yearning to be free.
He's not just a typical clichéd leftist artist. He's a whiner, too.
"America is so appealing to the rest of the world," Ruiz says . . . But the things that are appealing are so in your face, so harsh."
Awww. Somebody got in his little sensitive face. Somebody was harsh to him. Maybe more than one person. Maybe --we need to hear this-- maybe more than once! Horrors! And this:
Ruiz, 34, says his take on his native land comes from spending two years abroad and experiencing a sort of reverse culture shock when he returned home. He says he could suddenly see Americans the way the rest of the world sees us. "There's this arrogant American [persona] that comes across as stubborn and unbending," says Ruiz.
I've been asking myself which countries this guy travelled to. Australia? I doubt it. Too brash, stubborn, unbending, and in-your-face. Israel? No, for the same reasons. Maybe England, where it's illegal to defend yourself against muggers and burglars. They bend over good there. Same with most of Western Europe. Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands . . . nothing harsh there except the muffled cries of the dhimmis being strangled by Islam. He probably didn't notice, or didn't care, if he had been anywhere there.
I don't give a rat's patootie which country or countries he has or hasn't been to. He has his head up his own ass if he prefers any other country to this one, which raised and educated his parents, his siblings, and himself without so much as asking for a thank you. It's part of what the country does for its citizens. And all it asks is an acknowledgement of the mutual achievement between the citizen and the rule of law, the giant invisible structure which makes this whole sonofabitch's life possible. (God! People!)
And I guarantee you that the United States of America has never harmed this man. Tell me I'm wrong, pendejo. But don't thank Liberty, Hector, and all the men and women who stood on a wall for you and yours. Instead, make fun of Her, belittle Her, as you probably do to the real women in your life. (If the misogyny fits . . .) Other so-called artists have done worse. You couldn't possible think that you are original in those images above. It's idiotarian boilerplate, and it's getting soooo old.
Catherine just reminded me that this ungrateful man --and Mark Newport, from the previous post-- are the same age that my father was --34-- when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, about twenty miles from where he lived with his new bride and infant daughter. To protect them, and the country, he went away to fight, and fought as a hero. A real one. He kicked ass all over the Pacific Theater. He prevailed, came home, and started his life over.
So what the fuck are you wankers whining about?
You know, when you get a life, a real life, when you do something besides papier-mache --isn't that so fourth grade, Hectorette?-- when you can make art that takes on Reality, one-on-one, not your made-up MoveOn mash-up Spanglish fantasy-- until then you're just part of the problem, mucking about in the rebarb.
By the way, did you visit Mexico, Hectoroonio? They just published these stamps about Memin Pinguin (HT:Malkin), who makes L'il Black Sambo look like Louis Farrakhan. Why not, this first Friday --yeah, I know it's short notice-- why don't you feature this series in the half-gallery-space you usually devote to Minority Artists?
By the way twice, I'm descended from French Protestants who came here in 1650. I'm pretty sure I qualify as a member of a minority. But somehow, I doubt you'd turn over half your oozy brown gallery to me.
LIke I'd take anything from you, Hector Ruiz.Posted by Jerome at June 30, 2005 06:30 PM | TrackBack