Marc Handelman evokes the nineteenth century, finding both formal and ideological correspondences between Romantic painting of the Hudson River School and photographs of the bombing of Baghdad. The American artist explores the commanding vision, vertiginous perspectives, and pervading light - simultaneously transcendent and ominous - common to both genres. His exploration has a painterly intelligence and imagination, so that his often large-scale paintings resemble Abstract Expressionist canvases while they picture explosions, fireballs, tracer bullets, and illumination rounds. The logo of the Fox News Channel, America’s leading purveyors of jingoistic images and information from the war, becomes a majestic and terrifying spectacle of searchlights, lasers, and unmoored stars and stripes. Handelman’s abstract manner gives a new vision of shock and awe.
Image: Marc Handelman, Raptus (detail), 2006
Oil on canvas - 228.6 x 193cm
Courtesy Rubicon Gallery, Dublin