with essay below
The Vomiters Portfolio
The Vomiters came into being from the reelection of George Bush in 2004. My outrage began with my reaction to the sacrilegious hatred expressed by the religious extremists that swept him back into power, particularly following Dick Cheney’s speech at the Republican National Convention in Sept 2004. This was followed by the sickening realization of how the election was stolen through many types of fraud, further eroding the democratic process.
The Vomiters extended its criticism to the corruptions of corporate media in Brain Wash and Spin Cycle, Mediagougery, and A Rush of Lies (Rush Limbaugh). It also aimed at the war and fossil fuel industries in Unholy Trinity, two major backers of the Bush administration. The Ballot Eaters excoriated the stolen election of 2000 in Florida that involved the caging of the Democratic voter rolls and the 2004 Triad voting machine scandal. Fear Smear represents Roger Ailes, the then CEO of Fox News, vomiting black lies on his audience. The Verbal Farting shows Bush along with the Republican leaders of the House and Senate Bill Frist and Tom Delay. And then there were the Neocons…
In 1992 I became friends with the art collectors Marcia and Granvil Specks and gained intimate exposure to their internationally renowned collection of over 400 German Expressionist prints. I learned firsthand an array of graphic techniques which artists like Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Erich Heckel innovated in their woodblocks, etchings, and lithographs. This included the use of jagged contours carved from the grain of woodblocks, and ragged lines etched into intaglio plates. I was especially interested in the rough and painterly manner of lithograph printmaking that the artists of Die Brücke had innovated. The inspiration for The Vomiters series came specifically from viewing the print portfolios of The Robbers by George Grosz, The Lord’s Prayer by Max Pechstein, and The Transformations of God by Ernst Barlach.
In addition I had the good fortune to be influenced by the work of my friend the contemporary Mexican artist Agustin Portillo. The repulsive and grotesque faces that are the hallmark of Portillo’s paintings inspired the vicious sense of corruption and decadence that marked the faces of various characters in The Vomiters.
We have now entered a dark period in American history with the prospect of fascism on the rise. In November of 2016 when Donald Trump was elected to be president of the United States my disgust and fury reawaken and renewed itself, bringing new relevance to The Vomiters in all the same categories that existed over a decade ago, but with even greater relevance and urgency. Now more than ever I feel art needs to express the bottomless well of corruption and injustice which his presidency will prove to be, and to speak boldly and powerfully to the ugly heart of the matter. The German Expressionists excoriated the illusions, hypocrisies and injustices of the Weimar Republic that resulted in the rise of Nazism. The Vomiters was born out of a spontaneous reflex to many of the same corruptions, warning about the chaotic and unstable times that we face. Art must become be a clear eyed and unequivocal force to fight against the rising threat that comes from normalizing fascism. We must learn from the power of expressionist art that warns not allow history to repeat itself - AGAIN!
Diane Thodos 2017