Jack Kevorkian: “I call it pictorial philosophy.”

So I just watched a movie (most of it) called “You Don’t Know Jack,” starring Al Pacino and Susan Sarandon and John Goodman and some other people. I guess it’s a biopic about the work of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Let me just say first that I was too young when all of his fame was happening, too young to really care. Other than the fact that I thought he was cute (in a grandpa kind of way, I didn’t want to blow him or anything) and he seemed personable yet rebellious, and I never understood why he was being persecuted to such an extreme.

But yeah. So I just watched this movie. And I learned for the first time that Doctor Kevorkian was a brilliant visual artist. So. I thought it would be nice to just pay tribute here on my blog. I will post some photos of his paintings, and a few descriptions written by the man himself, describing his own works. Sounds good? I think so. Okay. Let’s go!!

"The Gourmet (on War)"

About this particular painting, Kevorkian says, “What is war? Is it a soldier dying, or guns, or bombs, or crosses, or weeping mothers, or sport, or patriotism, or valor, or high paying jobs? What is war? Not hell. For that is merely evil. War is worse than evil. It is mind-boggling suicide –mass suicide– with humankind devouring or trying to devour itself. In vain attemps to assuage some sort of weird, innate (and apparently insatiable) appetite nurtured by our true and beloved God, Mars, we will not settle for less than the “flower of evolution” as the main course, embellished by bountiful side dishes and fanciful shakers filled with the “fruits” of our marvelous hands and big starving brains. How long will we persist in this lethal nonsense? How long before we really believe that salvation lies not in an insane paradox fostered by brute and selfish gluttony, but in the far more “nutritious” and healthful viand in the sadly neglected garden of human compassion and understanding? Considering the status of brotherhood today, possibly too long.”

"Fever"

"Very Still Life"

“The message here, though somewhat capricious, nebulous, and indefinable, is clearly underscored by intense feeling and brilliant colors. These highlight the melancholy age-old balance between the warmth of life and the iciness of death, spiced with the sardonic humor of irony.
The disquieting mood portends inescapable doom for the frail symbol of individual life and through seemingly callous extinction of its evanescent aura. The age-old balance is certainly skewed.”

"Paralysis"

"For He Is Raised"

When asked about the meaning behind his painting, “For He Is Raised,” Kevorkian replied with the following statements: “The annual resurrection by dumb bunnies of a pathetic, despairing, almost scorned image of the purported divinity is hardly noticeable amid the tawdry paraphernalia of irresistible paganism at its vernal orgy. It is a spectacle badly conceived, badly manipulated, and superbly desecrated by those hare-brained disciples of Mammon, who, with armfuls of brilliant multi-colored eggs and gleeful joy, framed in parade-stopping millinery, might, in a rare pseudo-pious mood briefly condescend to acknowledge some sort of disquieting mystery pervading it all. Such is the perfunctory Easter of modern western society which seems to have lost appreciation for anachronisms like rods and staffs and angels and lambs.”

"Fa, La, La, La, La"

If you’d like to buy prints of Dr. Kevorkian’s artwork, please visit The Ariana Gallery Website, or The Armenian Library and Museum of America Website.

This is, once again, one of those posts that’s more about “I just want this stuff to exist on my blog, for posterity’s sake.” But. Please feel free to share your opinions here, about the man and his work (artistic or otherwise).

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About R. Spacely

Bastard.
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4 Responses to Jack Kevorkian: “I call it pictorial philosophy.”

  1. Essie says:

    I remember reading about jack Kevorkian…I don’t know, but I’ve always supported the man and what he was trying to do. I mean, I can’t imagine the pain and suffering and numbness and the inevitable spiral towards death. We don’t put our dogs through it, but we expect each other to man up and deal with it? Sure, Kevorkian was kinda creepy and his paintings reminds me of that time I ate poisonous mushrooms, but still. He seems to have a primal understanding of humanity – how we think and feel and what we want. He had balls. And I think he also had compassion, which is more than the stake-waving Christians who opposed his work had. I would not have the guts to end someone’s life who was pleading and begging for me to do it. He did.

  2. Essie says:

    Also, all your New Orleans posts makes me want to get drunk with you underneath the pier in the Cape Town harbor.

  3. Pingback: Jack Kevorkian: “I call it pictorial philosophy.” (via The Stir-Fried Dinosaur) « Psilomelane

  4. Pingback: Depleted Cranium » Blog Archive » Good Ridance, Jack Kevorkian

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