So humbled that my friend Matt Feltner and his lovely wife Keisha found value in this original work on canvas. Thank you Matt and Keisha for your investement. I am deeply grateful for your continued support.
Description: Mr. Lincoln (1/1, original work, 2018) 24x36 mixed media on stretched canvas J. Spanky Bunch Slabtown Studios
What was troubling your mind Sir?....that last Sunday stiff back in a pine pew.........a penny for your thoughts........and $5 worth of perspective....... Mr. Lincoln still jingles....burdensome in a poor man's pocket.......like the President's long and silent footsteps walking among the dead.....littering the disfigured landscape of Petersburg. I know you were not much on the church house........ but you were very much on the Good Book............... Mr. President what did your heart say......on your Sunday morning.....last........as 620,000 lost souls weighed heavy on your melancholy mind? Troubles........he had plenty........a shiny penny.......heads up.....on the asphalt ground.
This is my among my favorite works. I enjoy reading about Lincoln and his well textured life. What I wanted to capture.....was the weary Lincoln in 1863-64. The Civil War had drudged into its third year and it would become the bloodiest months of fighting. The Union Army had failed at Chancellorsville, becoming Robert E Lee’s magnum opus......at least of his military career. The Confederate Army succesfully pushed North winning a battle on Union soil. The catastrophic loss of life at Gettysburg, his young son Willie's tragic death, his wife Mary's deteriorating mental condition, a re-election campaign, The political stress of the Emancipation Proclamation (an executive order)........a year where more than 80,000 Americans would lose their lives. He didn't like being called Abe and even his wife referred to him as Mr. Lincoln. How disillusioned he must have become............in his times of deppression.....in his times of orchestrating the perfect thing to say.......the right thing to do.
"In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all" -Mr. Lincoln
"Across The Board" 30x40 (2017) mixed media on canvas SOLD
"Mechanism of Time" By J. Spanky Bunch mixed media Original: Sold Prints: Available
You are traveling through life at 186,000 miles per second.........there are 2.2 billion seconds in the average lifetime.......each second priceless in the end...So now that you are a billionaire........how are you gonna spend that time.....?............life isn't a clock winding down...........it is a runway coming to an end.
"Lucille's Ghost" A study of B.B. King's guitar. By J. Spanky Bunch mixed media on canvas Original: Sold Prints: Available
"Pill Monster" A study of rural Appalachia and the opioid plague mixed media on canvas (48x60) Sold
I wanted to relate in this our desperate condition.....the black death that is on us.......the great pharmaceutical plague...........the dirty veins, the mommas crying out from their knees.......the hollow hearts in the jail cells......those gone to the dust..........the blood in our mountains now diseased and the toxic...........needles piled up in the vacant places of our broken landscape while children are neglected and hungry......it rages.... violent and indiscriminate............I want to portray the great monster of addiction......as it is.....in this work.............I believe in the communicative value of art........I hope someone who can change even one.......will see and bring help....hope.
Madame Belle a study of Belle Breizing mixed media on canvas
Belle Brezing's House (original 2018) Pre-fire, late 1890's 36x36 mixed media on stretched canvas (resin)
Context: December 24, 1879, Lexington, KY
The day is cold on this Christmas Eve and the 19 year old Belle walks along what is now Broadway in downtown Lexington. At 5’2 and a little more than 100 pounds the deminutive Belle has lived a troubled life plagued by tragedy and tribulation. Born an illegitimate child to an alcoholic mother she adopted the last name Brezing (pronounced Breezing) following her mother, Sarah Ann's marriage to George Brezing. Sarah Ann was a gifted dress maker and while poverty stricken her daughter was smartly fashioned beyond their humble means. Petite and attractive, Belle began to draw attention from male suiters even as Sarah Ann spiraled further into alcoholism...Sarah Ann's health was further compromised by an unknown chronic illness. Belle was soon with child and Sarah Ann died shortly after the birth of this grandchild. As Belle returned from burying her mother she found her few, meager belongings cast outside the door of their rented home. She had been evicted as her mother's body settled into the frozen ground. Homeless with no prospects or ability to provide, Belle leaves her infant daughter... Daisy, with a trusted neighbor and friend of her late mother. Belle's belongings are few, she has the black dress she wears tonight and clings hopelessly to a journal filled with thoughts and poetry rescued from her discarded things. So it is.......as this fading day promises a bitter night....Belle walks shivering through the streets of Lexington and finds herself on the door step of a house maintained by Jenny Hill. The home has the distinction of being the former residence of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln…but now is a two dollar brothel. The mud from the primitive streets of Lexington have soiled Belle's worn shoes and this special dress that was hand stitched by her late mother...the stench of raw sewage, refuse and rotting animal carcasses from the street side gutters fills the late December air. Belle has few choices…her teeth chatter and her fingers are numb....she looks into the warm windows of Jenny Hill's brothel. Belle decides that tonight she will have a bath, she will be fed, she will be warm and she will sleep in a bed…of course this will come at a tramendous cost. Belle Brezing will live another 61 years, dying in her Megowan Street (now 153 N. Eastern Ave.) mansion at 80. In her life she will go from prostitute to nationally known Madam. Her sullied reputation so prolific that the local newspaper will openly mock and bully her even as a teenager. Shortly after joining the body house she will attempt suicide by overdosing on opioids, an addiction that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Later, as a wealthy business woman she will come to manage a prosperous portfolio that will include diverse investments such as real estate. Belle’s “body house” will require the "working girls" to dress in the finest Victorian fashion to rival even the wealthiest ladies of Lexington society and to conduct themselves with polished etiquette forbidding cursing in her home. Belle’s mansion would become the center for thoroughbred and trotting deals and she would frequent the race track. Belle would never dress in the Lexington fashion…preferring to shop exclusively in New York. Belle’s bourbon and cigar lounge would go down in horse racing history as she entertained political powers, the wealthy and the men of society. Interestingly, Belle’s colorful life of illrepute would inspire the character Belle Watling (Gone with the Wind)... I share with you this story…to explain the new series about Belle that I will be creating from these sketches. It is not intended to glorify prostitution or glamorize the conveniently forgotten underbelly of horse culture in the Bluegrass State. These works are intended to capture a place in time, to pose questions about moral absolutes……personal truth, dignity and purpose. These works are meant to inspire thoughtful conversation and to tell a unique story. I wonder though…as….Belle walked the streets in her New York finest…being refused by local shop keepers…if her sins were deeper than those of the upturned, elitist noses who gossiped peripherally from the comfort of good fortune. Those same ladies who were arranged into miserable marriages of financial comfort and standing.
“Ballad of the Great Deluge” (2008/17 mixed media on canvas
On August 29, 2005 Katrina's storm surge caused 53 breaches to various flood protection structures in and around the greater New Orleans area, submerging the majority of the city. Damages exceeded $100 billion and fatalities from Katrina have been estimated as high as 1,900. 20% of NOLA residents had no access to transportation. Hurricane Katrina struck at the end of the month. Many of these residents subsided on welfare and simply had no money to evacuate and nowhere to go if they did evacuate. There would be no escape for these 20,000. These residents lived an average of 4ft. below sea level and flood protection for these communities were in critical need of repair. In this painting the city scape of NOLA is sinking into the saxophone as the dark water rises around it. Your see the superdome with it’s damaged roof and the hurricane bearing ominously down into the buildings. A green cloud hovers around to represent the smell of decay that permeated the air for weeks. The sax player’s face is blue and distressed with two tears rolling down onto the city as he prevails to keep the city afloat with the force of the breath in his lungs. At right you will note the highway into the city is impaired by the coiled caricature of a snake. The snake represents the corruption of the local politicians, many of which would be indicted in the years following Katrina. The alligator below with mouth open represents the corruption and incompetence at the federal level. In between these two menacing predators……the little fish tries to make it’s way. At far right a heart and skeleton key. The city street rolls behind the figure....the landscape changed.......into the darkness......under the cover of a blue moon.