Saturday, 22 May 2010

This took far longer than I imagined it would but here's a painting of the cult leader Jim Jones.
I tried to give it a narrative but not straight up tell you what is happening. If you have some prior knowledge of who he is you will spot the symbolism but otherwise It will take some working out.

Jim Jones was the spiritual leader of the 'People Temple' living in a village made up of his over a thousand followers nicknames Jonestown. Long story short he brainwashed them On the death tape, Jones urged Temple members to commit "revolutionary suicide" [which] had been planned by the Temple before and, according to Jonestown defectors, its theory was "you can go down in history, saying you chose your own way to go, and it is your commitment to refuse capitalism and in support of socialism."

They drank flavor aid mixed with cyanide which was mixed in large buckets. killing over nine hundred people.

I used the 'dance of death' idea as it shows all walks of life ( an emperor,king,woman and baby) being lead in a dance by the figure of death. I thought this was a good way to portray the deaths of his followers. The figure of death is shown with a halo and a small red scythe above his head as he pours out the red liquid as a portrait of Jim Jones looms above them all from the fumes of the drink.



The writing in the background is from a transcript of a tape recording which as made at the time Jim Jones was preaching to his followers to commit suicide. Which can be found on youtube if your interested.


2 comments:

Danup1 said...

Cool picture.
I seen the documentary a few weeks ago. He was fuckin mental, nice idea though.

ktc said...

Hi,
Have you thought of doing political illustration? Your work always seems to have an interesting concept behind it so it might suit you well.