Title: Public Emeny #1
Material: Oil on canvas
Justice is incidental to law and order. – J. Edgar Hoover
In this re-animation of a police photo of the recently-martyred holey-man John Dillinger, I experimented with water-based oil paint, then later over-painted it with the good stuff.
The green arch in the painting plays multiple roles, suggesting an engraved image on US currency, or every bank teller’s nightmare of Dillinger waiting at their window to make a withdrawal. The hair is just him being cool.
Dillinger was only 31 when he was gunned down in front of the Biograph Theater in Chicago, where he and a hot date had gone to see Bonnie and Clyde. Just a few months earlier he’d famously escaped from jail in Princeton, Illinois, where he was being held for doing a lot of bad things. He accomplished this by using a fake gun that he’d carved out of a tomato.