2013 Falling Man: 2nd Place Art League Houston

The Falling Man
Kelly Alison, The Falling Man

Kelly Alison is a fixture on the Houston art scene, having been part of Fresh Paint, the 1985 survey of Houston’s painters at the MFAH.The image refers to 9-11 (the skyscrapers, the jet, the suit on the man) and perhaps particularly to a photo by Richard Drew of one of the many who jumped from the World Trade Towers to escape the fire of the burning buildings. I is loathe to call this work political (although Alison hasn’t shied away from politics in her work in the past). Instead, I see it as a history painting–one of those academic genres that was the most highly esteemed in the 17th and 18th century. (Landscape, along with still-life, was one of the least esteemed genres by the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture.) One thing that can be said about the genre of history painting is that there are certain events in history that deserve to be painted. This is, in a way, saying that these events should not be forgotten. (And, of course, doing such a painting allows a painter to put his own spin on the event

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