In 2011, during the run up to the presidential election (Obama/Romney), I was overcome with an intense desire to paint something all red on a large canvas. I bought myself two large, unstretched canvas’ and laid them out on the floor. I don’t recall having planned out this piece much on paper, and took charcoal to canvas to start drawing out my outline.

In 2008, I had bought in to the ‘Hope and Change’ Obama campaign full on. The ejection of Bush and Dick from the white house, with a well-spoken intellectual replacement that had over come colorful odds, seemed to hold promise for a brighter future. 4 years into the Obama presidency, it didn’t feel like we had gotten the hope and change we were hoping for. We had been duped. This was the beginning of my realization that the left and right political spectrum are SAMO— puppets of the real power structure that prefers to stay in the shadows, and out of the light.

We had been duped. This was the beginning of my realization that the left and right political spectrum are SAMO— puppets of the real power structure that prefers to stay in the shadows, and out of the light.

I had also been re-reading Animal Farm by George Orwell, and perhaps that is somewhat evident if you are familiar with this wonderful book. Animal Farm parodies the Russian Revolution of 1917, into the Stalinist era of the soviet union with a story about the takeover of  Jones’ farm by pigs with an appetite for power. The pigs go about creating a new order of farm rules, among them, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

This artwork paints the symbols of the left and right of the American political system in the same color, with a well-funded pig flying above, and the trickle-down of his money pulling the puppet strings of the left and right.

I owe a nod to Tim Hill, whose pink porcelain pig sculptures graced the former Camarillo creative-hub that was Element Coffee, for so many years. Between reading Orwell, and the daily presence of pig sculptures adorned with military grade wings in my headspace — I knew the universe was prodding me to extend the story Orwell began with his timeless ‘Animal Farm’.

The artwork remained remained tucked away in my private archives for  7 years. When I learned of a CSUCI Alumni art show taking place in the summer of 2018, I determined it was high time to get this work framed, and start exhibiting it. The message felt as relevant as ever. With Trump selected instead of Hillary, it would seem there is at least a possibility that our president was not exactly ‘SAMO’. I didn’t vote for Trump or Hillary — I was too disgusted with the options presented, and didn’t care to be polarized on either side of the political spectrum. Division and distraction is what the puppet master’s want. Though it certainly seemed that Hillary was the institutional candidate who was the ultimate ’SAMO’, I haven’t seen enough good from Trump to give him credit otherwise. I would love to be wrong about Trump, but the only stance I’m comfortable taking on any political figure that pushes the same Left/Right two party rhetoric is to call them out as being SAMO as their predecessor, which is to say that they are bought and paid for buy the .001%, and are advancing an agenda that fundamentally goes against the interest of the people.

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