Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Execution of the Communards

Around seven years ago I began work on a series of paintings commemorating the Paris Commune of 1871.

I asked my friend Andres to pose as one of the Pétroleuses, telling him that they were a group of women anarchists who were known for throwing petrol bombs. I thought he was rather a good sport about it, truly entering into the spirit of it all, though it didn't represent his politics.

Following Manet's example yet again, I was inspired by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes's Los Fusilamientos del Tres de Mayo to envision the massacre of the Communards of 1871. I based the poses on Goya's work, though I changed the viewpoints. I asked my roommate, Edgar, and my former roommate, his cousin (and Andres's brother) Rogelio, to assume the roles of victims and executioners, respectively.

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