Sunday, July 22, 2012

Run for Your Life

24" x 12"
oil on wood, 2012
You may recall this very same image of M.I.A., executed with watercolors, pass the revue less than two weeks ago as #35 in the series The 100 Greatest Recordings of all times. The song Born Free was #2 in the Top 100 2010 and may well end up at number one this year. The music and text of Born Free are superimposed on a beat by the band Suicide. Written by Martin Rev and Alan Vega, the beat was the theme from the song Ghost Rider on Suicide's first LP (1977). I have that one on CD, it's a great album. I do not have 2010 M.I.A.'s Maya CD on which Born Free appears but have the song on a compilation CD issued by the Believer magazine (The 2010 Music Issue). It is now the fourth time I painted this image of M.I.A. with the long red T-shirt worn as a dress. I also used it for Paper Planes in the Top 100 2009, Born Free in 2010, and the aforementioned 100 Greatest Recordings. The inscription on that T-shirt I only used in the two recent paintings. I reads: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. An appropriate line watching the video for Born Free. It's the most horrifying and violent video I've ever seen. Directed by Romain Gavras, the 9 minute film depicts a genocide against red haired people. The video was inspired, no doubt, by M.I.A.'s own political cause, that of the Tamil liberation in Sri Lanka.

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