PAINTINGS > The American Revolution Revolution

General Thomas Gage: Oh My God
acrylic on canvas
44 x 32 in (112 x 81 cm)
2016
Lemuel Cox: What The Fuck
acrylic on canvas
30 x 28 in (76 x 71 cm)
2013
Mrs Humphrey Devereux's Extended Oh My God
acrylic on canvas
26 x 24 in (66 x 61 cm)
2012
Mrs. Alexander Cumming: Don't Go There, Girlfriend
acrylic on canvas
28 x 26 in (71 x 66 cm)
2012
Mrs. Thomas Boylston: For Your Eyes Only
acrylic on canvas
36 x 32 in (91 x 81 cm)
2012
The Transient State of Mr. Henry Rice
acrylic + pencil on canvas
28 x 22 in (71 x 56 cm)
2012
Mrs Gill: Laughing My Fucking Ass Off
acrylic on canvas
20 x 16 in (51 x 41 cm)
2012
Mrs. Ezekiel Goldthwait: Laughing Quietly To Myself
acrylic + ink on canvas
36 x 33 in (91 x 83 cm)
2012
BF's Comment: Laughing My Ass Off
acrylic + pencil on canvas
29 x 23.75 in (74 x 60 cm)
2012
Portrait of An Elder: Shut The Fuck Up
acrylic on canvas
20 x 16 in (51 x 41 cm)
2012
Washington: Laughing Out Loud
acrylic + pencil on canvas
36 x 24 in (91 x 61 cm)
2012
Mrs Sylvanus Bourne: So What Your Face
acrylic + pencil on canvas
36 x 30 in (91 x 76 cm)
2012
Isaac Royall's Comment: What The Fuck?
acrylic on canvas
36 x 28 in (91 x 71 cm)
2012
John Hancock: Want To Go Private?
acrylic + pencil on canvas
32 x 24 in (81 x 61 cm)
2012
Paul Revere: Whatever
acrylic + pencil on canvas
32 x 26 in (81 x 66 cm)
2012
Samuel Verplanck's Post On The American Campaign: Oh My God
acrylic + pencil on canvas
30 x 26 in (76 x 66 cm)
2012
GW's Comment: Rolling On The Floor Laughing
acrylic + pencil on canvas
36 x 33 in (91 x 84 cm)
2011
Mrs. John Winthrop, (Read My Lips Baby, You're Shit Out of Luck)
acrylic + pencil on canvas
35.5 x 29 in (90 x 74 cm)
2011
Eleazer Tyng's Laugh Out Loud Laugh Out Loud Total Bust Squint Face
acrylic + pencil on canvas
36 x 33 in (91 x 83 cm)
2011
Montresor: For Crying Out Loud, I'm So Bored
acrylic on canvas
36 x 28 in (91 x 71 cm)
2011
Mrs. Joshua Henshaw II, (Catherine Hill's Post: Ha Ha, Evil Wicked Grin!)
acrylic + pencil on canvas
30 x 28 in (76 x 71 cm)
2011
Chivers: My Eyes Glaze Over
acrylic on canvas
32 x 30 in (81 x 76 cm)
2011
Vanderlyn's Secret Obsession, (Talk Dirty To Me)
acrylic + pencil on canvas
36 x 30 in (91 x 76 cm)
2011
Status Update of Mr. Madison, (Scratching My Head In Disbelief)
acrylic on canvas
52 x 40 in (135 x 102 cm)
2011
INGRES: Laughing My Fucking Ass Off
acrylic on panel
17.5 x 15.5 in (44 x 39 cm)
2010

The American Revolution Revolution

What would George post?

The brief history of The United States of America so far is bookended by revolution: political and technological. An American Revolution Revolution series explores 18th century American painting and portraiture in context of 21st century lexicons – facebook status updates, tweets, texting acronyms – that permeate today's popular culture.

The American Revolution was conceived through an exchange of a few well-formed ideas communicated in person and by handwritten letters. Imagine what George & Co. could have done with the Internet.

Or not.

Technology influences how much we know and what we believe, as well as how quickly and intelligently we convey our ideas. But does how we communicate govern the value of what we communicate? The physical act of typing very fast on small devices has undeniably impacted spelling, grammar and punctuation, encouraging a degree of illiteracy that has become the new social norm. As goes our grammatical literacy, do our social and cultural literacies follow? What should we make of the fact that the political organization Move-On.org has 109,000 'likes' on Facebook while Justin Bieber has 6 million plus followers on Twitter?

Nearly infinite information delivered instantaneously has so obsessed us with tweets, pokes, buzz words, and status updates that we feel deprived when we haven’t logged in to check out the latest postings or to see who 'likes' our status. Who hasn't panicked at the sight of no bars on their cell phone? We are enslaved to our smart devices, computers, and social networking sites as much, if not more, than by a distant king.

Well-worn are the theories that advancing technology isolates us more, not less, and it is easy to idealize centuries-past life as simpler, more civil, more intelligent and, ironically, more 'connected.' The point is, we live in a very different time than our Founding Fathers did, and we would appear to place our priorities in very different places: what entertains our selves versus what serves our society. Clearly a society must be politically free to indulge in the luxury of such introspection. But has the complacency of our political freedom blinded us to the potential our ancestors fought for?

If George could comment today, would he click the 'like' button, or post wtf? and then go check his Lady Gaga tweet?

- Shawn Huckins, 2013

NOTE: All works are physical paintings, NOT digital and/or photoshopped images.