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Boys Keep Swinging or Tom Corbett and the Cosmic Vision Helmet.
History shows us that the lessons learned on the playing fields of our youth are perpetuated in one form or another with almost mathematical predictability. As boys we fired our imaginations with the heroes and villains of childhood fantasy. Competition started with “cowboys and Indians”. Comic books read like morality plays thus it is how we identify ourselves against the backdrop of recorded time and it is here that we establish our place in the hierarchy.
“Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.” This truism has been a core subject in my work for many years. What began as a series of paintings, oil on canvas, reflecting the twentieth century’s visual record, has evolved into a body of work with a much narrower focus. I recognize it now as an individual response to the male dynamic as it informs me personally and resonates with that larger historical perspective.
This in-progress body of work is, for the lack of a better term, painted in a “post-pop” style. It is the primary tool I use in reconciling my own naïve idealism with the more pragmatic need to try to have it make sense to others. This comic book familiarity of my subjects is merely the external manifestation of self-discovery, which by its very nature is an elusive target.
Above: Rudy Froese, Boys Keep Swinging (detail), Painting, 2000.