As soon as my wife saw the absurd shtick that Clint Eastwood delivered at the Republican National Convention speaking to an empty chair that possessed an invisible President Obama, she turned and deadpanned to me, “Oh my god, you can never paint a chair again.” I laughed but didn’t fret. There have always been plenty of readings for the meaning of the chair in various cultures as well as in my paintings so a new, albeit ridiculous, interpretation wouldn’t make much of a difference. But it has made me go back through my files and look at some of the chair paintings from the past.
I try to figure out which president each might be.
I’ve found quite a few Lincolns, a Taft and both Roosevelts. Then there was a Jefferson, a Grant and a Clinton. All three assassinated presidents were there– McKinley, Garfield and JFK. George Washington and Old Hickory , of course. Still looking for a Polk and a Martin Van Buren. I think it may be difficult to find a Millard Fillmore but, hey, you never know. He should actually be easiest to find as he hailed from not far from me in the Finger Lakes region but he still is not located in my paintings.
The painting above?
Dick Nixon. And if Clint Eastwood thought the Obama chair had a potty mouth, wait until he gets a load of this chair.