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“Mission Accomplished...?”

carving # 642, Basswood, 27.5”h x 14.75”w x 4.375” w,
Black Walnut Base, 1.5’ x 16.6” x 4.625”
May 13, 2009
This salute to an anonymous former leader began with a request to teach a seminar on my style of caricaturing, and started with just the oversized “thumb’s-up” next to a facial portrait, based on a photo from a campaign stop in the north metro. For better or worse, that left two-thirds of the basswood slab unexploited. Such a waste, if permitted, would surely constitute a mortal sin to those of a true Norwegian Lutheran persuasion. One thing lead to another, including a lamination and a coherent design.

The preliminary sketch was much better than the original execution of the face, and that dissatisfaction plus other priorities resulted in abandonment of the project. Desiring a back-up demo piece for the woodworkers’ symposium at Vesterheim, the piece was again scrutinized, prompting the realization that the initial over-exaggeration of his chin was the prime deficiency. With that corrected, the piece was finally finished, ...sorta. This may be an occasion where obliteration and replacement of a principal element is warranted; the removal of Saddam’s face followed by re-lamination and re-carving. Polychrome antiquing of the piece remains tempting as well...

The head under his right foot represents, of course, Saddam Hussein, sporting the growth of beard he sported at the time of his arrest. I opted to retain the beard, though he was clean shaven for his execution. Unfortunately, commitments to his face were made from wreck-collections, and by the time photo research was undertaken, there was insufficient wood remaining to do true justice to his nose.

Bush’s left foot and flag are planted squarely upon the Middle East, under which the Osama-type figure gleefully plants his bombs. Mission accomplished...

Mission Accomplished 3
Mission Accomplished 4 As done for the seminar, note the edge of left lapel (the edge of original block).mission



Updated June 15, 2016