Acrylic painting Il Geocondo (The Legend of Gilbert & George in Sepia) by John Hovig

Il Geocondo (The Legend of Gilbert & George in Sepia)

acrylic and silkscreen on linen
50 x 46 inches

An homage – or is it a parody? – of Gilbert’s Williamstown portrait of George (meaning Messrs Stuart and Washington, of course) mixed up with Gottlieb Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware (or at least the re-worked etching of it by Paul Girardet), using the general framework of Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q., with a slight nod of the head to the famous legend of the cherry tree, in a style gently reminiscent of the colorful photo-manipulated works of the artist pair named in the title. This version is in the earthy tones of an almost unnamed classical painting.

Colorful "glitches" cover the surface, interfering with the view. They represent the fragility of technology, which is so influential in art-making today. Arguably the zips comprising a wholly separate abstract painting, sitting atop the first. And perhaps they even honor – or skewer? – that artist with all the "zips".