Artist's Statement About The Work

Choosing Sides of The Mansion In Texas.

2009: The painting is a large "burned" painting of the Texas Governors Mansion. The Mansion
burned down in the summer of 2008 and stood mostly un-repaired with no real clue as to who actually
"dun it". An event that bothered me greatly as I spent my childhood in Austin going to church across
the street from the Mansion... We loved seeing that old home every Sunday!

Hidden in the "burned side" are my "persons/things of interest".... The alleged molotov cocktail
"thrower", Governor Perry, Highway Patrol personnel, Kinky Freeman, past governor Ann Richards- a
notorious chain smoker, The UT Tower, The Texas Capitol Building, civil war canon sculpture "tenders",
and the "Columbia" sculpture figure from the UT Littlefield Fountain who holds aloft 2 flaming torches.
(Columbia is the symbol of independence).

There was controversy over how to repair the building. "Add on" or try to rebuild as close as
possible to the original building. Many old structural issues would have to be dealt with.

So, at the end of the day, a Texas icon of truth and beauty had been destroyed.
The building stood as a symbol of a Texas turning point or decision... do we choose
to accept and live with destruction and deception or do we choose to seek out and
rebuild beauty.

Production Notes: I visited the site shortly after the incident to take photographs. The
building was partially covered from view. The entire facade seemed to be covered with water proof
material and completely fenced in with opaque canvas on every fence so all views were blocked.
There were signs of construction in the works. I painted the sides of the mansion on 3/4 inch
russian birch and hauled the painted right hand side to Fredericksburg, Texas and burned it in an old
barn. We found the acrylic paint did not burn easily and we resorted to pouring "a lot" of gasoline
on the painting and burning and reburning it many times. The "figures" were formed by laying tar paper
cut outs over the surface and taking up and repositioning them until the desired effect was achieved.
Pretty smelly and dangerous work.

Do I feel better now? No, Not really.

2012: I visted the Mansion again in early 2012. It looked great!
It appears to be completly restored to the original look and specifications. It has beautiful
copper trim and all new paint and columns! I admit, I thought this would never happen.
I was wrong and my faith in Texas history is restored.

Do I feel better now? Yes, really!

But, but, but... the old First Baptist Church which was across the street from the Mansion is "disappeared".
There is only a parking lot for The Mansion and The Capitol in its place. (I guess I've got to quit trying
to go home again...)

Contact       Copyright 2009