While at the moment I have two commissions, one yet to finish and another yet to begin, I still find myself making sketches for larger works on canvas. My most recent sketches are all investigations of what the TAGLINE 'UNITED STATES MAKES PEACE WITH NORTH KOREA' looks like. Since that image I found of a Japanese Peace Treaty which I wrote about previously, I've been piqued to paint the body language and context of such a meeting between the two states mentioned above. Human interaction is an artery of my work and, in this new investigation, I have found body language can be so much a narrator within an image, even if that narrator is based on the terminology of each figure itself.
In terms of the compositions themselves, at the moment I am content with placing an assortment of higher ups at the table from not just the United States and North Korea, but other countries in the world who serve as neutral parties in the talks. The talks take place in or around the demilitarized zone on the 38th parallel, and the background often features the shade of United Nations Blue. To set the tone of the meetings, there isn't necessarily a script but rather a question and answer session similar to the work on love by Dr. Arthur Aron. Every subject sits in such a way as to see every other subject.
After posting the sketches of the figures at a table, a person from Facebook asked me what Peace between the two countries would look like. To do this, I started with something very literal, the embrace and laughter of two generals from each country. In the background are synesthetic remarks on their sensory experience.
Of course, there is more to the relationship to be explored. I am especially interested in further questions concerning the necessity of war as a means of solving conflict beyond the funding of industries who specialize in weapons of (destruction/defense). What is the difference between an agreement of friendship between the governments, the militaries, and the people as a whole from each country? Which benefits, beyond the avoidance of nuclear strikes, are there for each country to announce and engage in friendly relations with one another? What tangible basis is there for the continuance of the stalemate from the 1950's? What benefit is there to a planet separated and organized into countries with governments ranked in order of power, defense, and finances? Who is the benefactor of such schemes?
Much Appreciation Michael Haight