Tag Archive | George W. Bush

Eugenio Merino’s Always Shameless at UNIX Gallery

Row of Coke Cases
All Photos By Gail

If you like Coca Cola and World Politics and have a twisted sense of humor, then UNIX Gallery in Chelsea is currently hosting an exhibit you will enjoy. Always Shameless, an exhibition of new work by Spanish artist Eugenio Merino is instantly polarizing for its depiction of life-sized Political Leaders including Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il, Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush displayed in Coca Cola Refrigerator Coffins. Surely, this visual alone will inspire hours of lively discourse.

Walls at either end of the the Coca Cola Case Display are mirrored, creating an infinity effect and indicating that the line of corrupt leadership “goes on forever,” according to Gallery owner Alex Cesaria, whom I spoke to at the opening reception this past Thursday. The figures of each well known leader (most now deceased but some still living) are all astoundingly lifelike (although a few have noticeably over-sized heads, take that however you want).

Always Franco
Always Franco

According to the exhibit’s press release, Always Shameless is the culmination of a project Merino began in 2011 with Always Franco, a life sized sculpture of uniformed Spanish dictator Francisco Franco preserved in a Coca Cola refrigerator. The Fundación Nacional Francisco Franco, an organization dedicated to preserving Franco’s legacy, quickly sued the artist over the sculpture as well as for a second sculpture the artist created of the dictator. Merino went to trial twice to defend his freedom of speech and won both cases. As an aside, I can’t help but recall the long-running punch line on early seasons of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update News segment, reporting that “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is Still Dead.” If you are too young to remember that, it doesn’t matter.

Hugo Chavez
Always Chavez

Putin Close Up
Always Putin Detail

Despite the legal setbacks, the artist has continued his series of sculptures of political figures for the exhibition. The title of the show, Always Shameless is a play on the 1993 Coca Cola slogan “Always.” Merging the political nature of the artist’s sculptures with the branding of a universally recognized product brings these ultimately dark and poignant works into the more accessible forum of popular culture. As Kestum Bilt (a Branding authority) puts it, ” These works evoke the unspeakable in a field of voices”.

Always Mao
Always Mao

Merino’s work undoubtedly reflects his struggle as a politically active and controversial artist. Speaking directly to the issues of manipulation and control throughout the 21st century, his works challenge the artistic and social limits his subjects have set upon their respective societies. Their legacies have been preserved simply through our participation in keeping their reigns alive. Jonathan Jones of The Guardian noted, “it seems incredible that General Franco is still oppressing artists in Spain from beyond the grave.”

Punch a Poitician

Punch Putin
Vladimir Putin Punching Bag, Very Timely!

As a terrific kick off to the summer, Always Shameless is a Do Not Miss Exhibit!

Eugenio Merino’s Always Shameless will be on Exhibit Through July 12th, 2014 at UNIX Gallery, Located at 532 W 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Gallery and Exhibit Signage

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Seeing The Light at the End of the Longest Tunnel Ever

George Bush as Vampire
George Bush Sucks

In light of “Boy Sex Gate” and various new revelations that further reveal what a fucking joke the current administration is,  I have been pretty excited and hopeful for widespread enlightenment that might just lead to a Democratic victory everywhere come next Tuesday (I mean, a girl can dream). Fueling that hope, here’s what John Kerry Said today:

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.”