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In this portrait I am depicting George W Bush, the 43rd president of the United States. Like many presidents have been depicted in the past, I decided to put him on money. Since he is our 43rd president, it's naturally a 43 dollar bill. I borrowed and mixed composition, layout, and color from all of the new bills: the 5, the 10, the 20, the 50, and the 100...but the main bill I focused on was the 50 because I like the color scheme and the stars/stripes theme.
Where the star portion of the flag is depicted on the 50, I made a map of iraq using the same blue color. I put a star on the map to depict anywhere there is a military base or major oil field. Where the stripes are located on the fifty, I depicted the twin towers burning and smoking on the NYC skyline. The shape of them sweeps across the bill much the stripes do on the actual 50, creating a convincing echo. Where the hole on the first building is, I included an original quote by myself that says "The truth about tragedy is that it's incredibly easy to exploit." I say that because that's exactly what he did, he manipulated the tragedy of 9-11 in order to reinforce his war agenda against, well....everyone.
To fit the title of this portrait...I referenced many of the most popular dictators throughout history. Around the inner border of the bill, I have used a swastika motif to reference Hitler. I have also modified the presidential seal on left hand side to reflect the similarity between the naze regime and the state of our country's agenda under the Bush regime. The treasury seal on the left side of the bill has been changed to my own version of the department of immigration's seal for the Bush regime, it's a confederate flag and a machine gun...that pretty much sums it up.
The outer border (across the top and bottom of the bill), show a symbol that has been adopted by france. It was originally worn by King Louis the XIV, one of the most horrible and ego-maniacal dictators to every live. He often compared himself to Apollo, the sun god. He thought that just as the earth revolves around the sun, the world revolved around him. I actually believe that the symbol I used was actually a symbol associated with Apollo at one point in history. I have also hidden one of King Louis' more famous quotes in the collar of GW's shirt. It reads "I am the state."
Another quote I hid on GW is across his hairline. It was a quote by Agamemnon, the tyrant king of Greece from Homer's Illiad. He said "Peace is for the weak and the women, empires are forged by war."
More quotes hidden in the piece are on the stars from the Iraq map. They are various quotes from Creon, the dictator in the Sophocles play Antigone. They read "It is my job to rule this land, there is no one else", and "Nations belong to men with power, that's common knowledge."
The signatures on the bill belong to myself and the president. The presidents signature lies on the left side of the bill above the word "dictator." My signature is on the right side above the words "secretary of truth."
In the upper border of the painting, lies the phrase "Pro Unum Pluribus Mortuus" which I believe means "For One, Many Die." This of course reference the ever famous "E Pluribus Unum" from our coined currency, which means "From Many, One."
Across the bottom border it reads "In War We Trust", which of course references "In God We Trust" from our coined currency.
The serial number on this bill, TD00043282D has a great significance. It means "To Date 43,282 Dead." This is the actual number of deaths directly related to the war as of March 2008, when I was working on the piece. It includes all troops stationed in Iraq, and Iraqi troops/civilians.
In the upper right hand corner, you will notice another number. wmD00. It means Weapons of Mass Destruction, Zero...which refers to the number of weapons of mass destruction we found in Iraq....ZERO.
Even the color scheme from the 50 (yellow and purple) have a lot of reference to my message. I used the purple, but made the yellow more or a rich gold...which are the two colors worn most common by royalty throughout history: pharaohs, emperors of greece and rome, and religious figures from the majority of faiths throughout history, including Christianity. This is a reference to another dictator I felt GW has a striking similarity to....the old testament God. This could be a touchy metaphor, as religion is a hot-button topic, but it's very relevant to this war. The whole thing started because a bunch of pissed off muslims decided to crash some planes into our buildings in the name of the mighty Allah....and lets face it, the old testament God was just as big of an ass, indiscriminately reigning down fire and brimstone like he was throwing out candy in a parade. What's the old phrase...."Kill one man you're a murder. Kill a million you're a king. Kill them all you're God." That sounds about right to me.