Jack Balas, 2018: GRANT WOOD SEZ TO WORLD: COME OUT FIGHTING (#1681-1571-1537); oil and enamel on 3 canvas panels; 44" x 94" overall.
"It was a Sultry Day on the Wapsipinicon, when finally, finally... GRANT WOOD SEZ TO WORLD: COME OUT FIGHTING. We invite your rigor."
A tribute to Grant Wood, the painting references not only his male-erotic image SULTRY NIGHT of a naked farmer dousing himself with a bucket of water on a summer's day, but also references a landscape in the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, "Midwest Summer," the curatorial title tag for which has been painted across the chest of the red monochromatic fellow at the right. When I was growing up and admiring Wood's work, I had no idea (nor was it ever hinted at), that Wood was a (closeted) gay man. In this day and age, I like to think this painting is Wood's answer to the world-- a taunt, finally and loud.