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Erik Bakke

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Recent series of paintings reference the speeches of Zarathustra in Friedrich Nietzsche's work Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The paintings are in part titled ‘landscapes’ with the remaining part of the long titles (which are painted directly into the works) detailing the imagery and its relationships to the texts. Featured are figures such as John Walker Lindh, Ishi (the Native American), Conan the Barbarian and imagery taken from advertising, popular cultural and the histories of a variety of cultures. The title of a 2004 exhibition in Brooklyn at the Thin Air Gallery makes the point: Drawing Room Paintings: Thirteen Landscapes after Eighty Speeches by Zarathustra Featuring John Walker Lindh in the Company of Officers of the Mexican War (1846-1848);

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Malcolm X; Video Game and Childrens' Storybook Characters; and Artifacts of the Aztec. - - - - - - - - IMAGE DESCRIPTION : 1. Title (Text in painting is same as title): - Black Landscape. Motifs suggested by the first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Zarathustra’s Prologue (Zarathustra looking at a star) 1. On the Three Metamorphoses (camel, lion, baby) 2. On the Teachers of Virtue (Sleepy’s) 3. On the Afterworldly (Conan the Barbarian) 4. On the Despisers of the Body (obese person) 5. On Enjoying and Suffering the Passions (Theresa) 6. On the Pale Criminal (Snakes) 7. On Reading and Writing (butterfly and bubbles) 8. On the Tree on the Mountainside (Pebble Beach logo) 9. On the Preachers of Death (Benetton ad) 10. On War and Warriors (Trojan Condom logo) 11. On the New idol (fly). Random Elements: A. Madonna Kissing Britney Spears at MTV Video Music Awards B. AOL logo. John Walker Lindh with objects: I. JWL with small ball II. JWL with clay pot III. JWL with bicycle IV. JWL with reading glasses V. JWL with small car VI. ……………….…………..JWL with backpacking tent XLVI. JWL with cone XLVII. JWL with hiking shorts XLVIII. JWL with large car. - 2003. Acrylic and metal flake on canvas, 108 x 96 inches.

IMAGE 2 - Title (Text in painting is same as title): Weatherby Painting: Mrs. George Landreth of Midlan, Texas with her record-breaking Kodiak and polar bear both shot with her WM. Mrs. Landreth incidentally, followed her husban by becoming the 8th person to collect all North American big game animals, and was the first woman in the world to accomplish this feat. - 2003. Acrylic and metal flake on canvas. 72 x 96 inches. - IMAGE 3 - Title (Text in painting is same as title): Red Landscape. John Walker Lindh with motifs suggested by Zarathustra's fifty-fifth through fifty-ninth speeches in Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche: LV. On the Spirit of Gravity (Rope ladder to window) LVI. On Old and New Tablets (Rowboat at sunset) LVII. The Convalescent (The eternally recurring lyre) LVIII. On the Great Longing (Naked soul before the sun) LIX. The Dancing Song (Moon over stream running through meadow) 1. Mr. Brown and Mr. Black from Dr. Seuss' Hop on Pop. - 2004. Mixed media on linen. 24 x 20 inches
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Erik Bakke
New York, NY
New York
North America

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