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Taco Werewolf's
HOWLING JALAPENOS OF FLAMING HOPE
Words And Art In Support Of President Barack Obama
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12/31/08: Obama And The Fast-Growing Myth Of Hope
Obama jalapeno hopeThroughout history there are men who do great things. Then there are the artists and poets, historians and journalists who begin to tell their stories about this great person and as time goes by an idealized, personalized mythology begins to evolve parallel with the creation of a sort of "Cult of Personality." Folk stories and urban legends evolve and it is hard to tell, after many years, what this great man was originally really like. That is what I think is and will continue to happen with Obama as artists attempt to create a more personal, intimate relationship with the movement and ideas he represents. Everyone wants to be a part of the history he is making. The President of the United States is in mnay ways a symbol of mainstream America, and it is a symbol which is bound to be altered and varied in accordance with different artist's interpretations.

I know of no other president who has inspired and served as a muse for artists. The cluster of ideas Obama represents to me, in combination with my own individual ideas, make me feel like I can make nearly limitless installemts of my "Obama Taco Underwear" painting series. Obama just seems "cool" in a way no other President ever has and he makes love of America seem cool. But since being "cool" is definitely not enough for our country to get better, it is good that Obama is also inspiring and motivating to the young and old alike, especially the young. All artist's each have their own way of expressing their love for Obama. The Internet is now full of Obama art and it is interesting to see the diferent ways artists express what an Obama presidency means to them. My interpretation might be one of the most bizarre, but I wanted to do soemthing a little different than what other artists are doing. When I think of Obama as a muse I think of him as the figure you see me dressed up as in my "Obama Taco Underwear" photo-ops(an example of which is shown in the upper left corner of this article). I wear my home-made Obama mask and let three major taco ingredients, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, adorn my body. I have tomato slices on my chest to represent my heart and what the spirit of change has recently done to my soul. I wear a block of cheese on a necklace to represent the sun with its rays of change radiating as the werewolf frees his inhibitions and howls up at that warm, orange energy-giving orb up in the sky. Stuffed into my white cotton briefs there is always a few leaves of lettuce to represent love, fertility and progress as our nation gives birth to a new era of smart government. The underwear represents my humility, my willingness to stand before my countrymen half-naked to express my realization that I am but one small part of the greater whole.

There are who say that Jesus Christ was, in actuality, a short, brown-skinned man with a humped back. It was years of artist, historian, poet and apostles' interpretations and representations that led to Christ's growing myth and his being commonly seen as a good-looking, white, bearded man who was also the Son of God. It is through this same sort of process that I created the "Obama Taco Underwear" portrayal I have just described and which you see in the photos. You'll notice in these photos that I wear a hairy werewolf glove on my right hand to signify my werewolf nature. It serves as a sort of "signature" on my part, the way the Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John signed their Good News. Of course and obviously, I am not saying that Obama is Jesus Christ or that I am comparable to a Gospel writer. I'm only trying to demonstrate how the process is similar in how personality cults evolve, how the ideas of a great man, as they develop over time through people's varied interpretations, can lead to representations of the man than are far different than how he actually was or looked. Reality eventually becomes mythology and it is interesting to me how quickly this process has been sped up when it comes to President Obama. People are so hungry for change, so starved for a hero that he has become the stuff of legend to many before he has even stepped into the Oval Office! I think that is because what he most represents is HOPE, a desire for things that are yet to come into fruition, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

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