Title: WWWD (What Would William Do)?: portrait of William Blake
Material: Oil on canvas
Come into my hand
By your mild power; descending down the nerves of my right arm
From out of the portals of my brain, where by your ministry
The eternal great humanity planted his paradise.
— William Blake
A particular High School in Ohio calls themselves the Tygers, which was a Blakean spelling for an animal of the same stripe. I hope their cheerleaders have a cheer: ‘Tygers, Tygers, Burning Bright!’, but maybe not followed up with Blake’s next line: ‘What Immortal Hand or Eye, Could Frame Thy Fearful Symmetry!’ I instead suggest: ‘Our team is on fire tonight!’
In this painting, I filtered the many color variations of William Blake’s “The Ancient of Days” prints (1794) and casted the Artist/Poet/Printer/Mystic himself in the title role, as the Creator. In the background I brightened the potentially traumatizing, dramatic scene with a Smiley Face playing the part of the Sun. Here ‘God’ wields a pair of dividers, with which He divides land from sea, good from evil, Republicans from Democrats, Steelers fans from Browns fans, &c.