Blog / 2022 / Dominic Murphy’s Fecal Face and My Return to Adolescence
March 15, 2022
The British artist Dominic Murphy painted Vladimir Putin using his dog’s poop mixed with some mud and glue. Speaking of the portrait to the press, Murphy said:
“I started it because out of anger really...It’s quite an immature idea but it did the trick.”
And it’s his statement that makes the piece for me, because Murphy’s acknowledgment of his gesture’s crude triteness automatically makes it relatable to me. It is immature to paint someone using poop, but you know what’s infinitely more childish? Invading another country and attempting to murder an entire people in order to feel more manly.
I’ve painted Putin a couple times, always in relation to Trump—in 45’s mouth like in the detail of They Really Don’t Care above and on a one dollar bill in the background of Hello Sh*tty as shown below. I never thought to use feces to make these portraits, but the commentary I was making with those artworks comes from the same immature place as Poo-tin’s a Shit.
When I made these paintings, I became again the teenager who mercilessly caricatured my high school teachers. I was lashing out in my own small way, because what else can I do to actually harm (or even affect) these monsters who have the power to blow us all up?
I think the immaturity of adolescents is what we all need more of these days. And I’m not talking about being like the teens who thrived in high school—those who sucked up to teachers and did everything they could to be part of the in-crowd. Those jerks are the same ones who think that, for one person to win, everyone else has to lose.
No, when I say we need an adolescent mindset, I’m referring to the teens who understand that authority figures need to be mocked when they do things that make them undeserving of respect. I’m talking about the kids who know that people are superficial and that life is unfair, but who nevertheless keep trying to make the world different.
That’s the energy I’m cultivating right now. It’s what’s getting me through the day under the shadow of yet another white cis baby-man with nuclear launch codes who’s thirst trapping on an epic scale.
Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!
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