Man Picking Up Motorcycle


My painting depicts a strong older bearded blue-collar man picking up a “Horse” (a slang for motorcycle) from a fallen distraught young leather jacket rebel-with-out-a-cause. In the background a person is pasting a stylized image of a face over a billboard retaking the public space. The landscape is barren with no other signs of civilization, just contract wall and structures. Off in the distance in the upper right hand section of the painting are three trees, a splash of life. The sun is setting or rising at a moment of twilight. A time in the day that is half light and half dark. It only lasts a short moment. Twilight disappearing as soon as you realize it is that time.

I am depicting several things in this image. A sense of duality of young and old. Day and Night. Civilization and Nature. I believe the man is the same person helping himself up as an older wiser person who is working hard and doing the right thing. At the same time he is the reckless inexperienced youth, will to take risks and make mistakes, even if it may cause harm.

The environment depicted is the battle of progress cementing-covering up nature. But no matter how much we try to control our environment, nature always pushes through. There is a struggle a pushing and pulling, forgotten lessons learned and relearned and forgotten. A night day night day happens. Generation after generation, year after year of a person’s life. Solutions to problems that don’t exist are given and problems that need solutions ignored.

After exhibiting this work of Art several times the audience told me that it also looks like the older man is pushing the young rebel off the motorcycle. Almost as if to say stop being reckless and stay safe and live a long life. I like both interpretations.

“Man picking up Motorcycle” started with the inspiration of Caravaggio’s painting the “Convergence of Saint Paul”. It depicts the Roman Soldier Saul (Paul) who was in charge of finding Christians and sending them to gladiator events. Saul fell of his horse after seeing a burst of light from god. The painting shows an angel holding Saul’s horse steady as he helps Saul up. The story goes later Saul converts to Christianity and changing his name to Paul.

I always loved the dramatic lighting and the bizarre composition of the horse’s behind taking up more than half of the picture plan. Caravaggio was commissioned to do the painting by a clergy man he did not like. When it was revealed to the public for the first time, the spectators where shocked and mortified. At the time being called a horse’s ass was a huge insult.  The patron was insulted by the paint still hung in the designated area.

What do you see in this painting? What is is saying to you?


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