Left Behind is the lead painting in the Hurricane Katrina Series. The actual model Prettiboy represents all the animals that perished in Hurricane Katrina because pets were denied evacuation. . Katrina passed my studio inFlorida on August 25, 2005 and proceeded to New Orleans, Louisiana, where it became the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. Because of its ferocity, the name Katrina has been removed from the National Weather Bureau s list of names available for future hurricanes.
This group of oil paintings is conceived as an historic marker, distilled from years of residence and study,of the vulnerability of a beautiful, cultured city. There is no other Series of this type rendered 2005-9 and the challenge was to perfect forms which would enable the viewer to understand and value the experience with more appreciation than rancor. That is, appreciation from an historical perspective of what we must strive to protect in future assaults on the environment. A better name for this painting is Ja Accuse... the named and nameless entities who allowed this disaster. The preliminary stages of Left Behind can be seen in my studio p.55 where a key feature, the pets eyes, were designed to maintaineye contac twith the viewer from any vantage pointi. Three sets of pin-point eyes peering out from the tropical foliage surrounding this tree house, project the same accusative stare as the cat. The full scale feline, an iconic image representing the vulnerability of all animals, is ensconced a highly stylized display of southern flora, which despite its seemingly protective exuberance, was no match for the savage attacks of Hurricane Katrina. This is Prettiboy, a Tonkenese feline living in a tree house on Conti Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He is not a happy, cuddly cat he looks at the viewer through challenging eyes that follow the observer in any location The scene is very still Prettiboy sits on hisplatform surrounded by interesting, stylized flora. Sliding through this quiet foliageare twisted, boney, dead tree trunks on the left and right of the composition. Look carefully--three sets of eyes are ensconced in the plants on the middle left, lower left anf lower right. Other pets are hiding on the platform for security. This is the quiet moment before the winds of Hurricane Katrina smashesd the retreat and swirls the animals into oblivion. Switch they are all gone. In the lower right is a cryptic inscription for the owner of this work.
I cannot read it--it came to me after finishing the painting and I leave it to the owner to decipher after this monstrous tragedy.
Katrina, Hurricane, Neworleasns, Pets, Cats, J Accuse, Treehouse, Levees, Disaster, Original Painting, Other Painting