The Assassination of Judy Garland


Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. -
Noel Langley, spoken by Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz, 1939
The Assassination of Judy Garland - A Metaphorical Portrait of America - is a personal reflection on the post 9/11 era, this time focusing on American political mythologies. It continues the story from my 2006 exhibition Sedition and Other Bedtime Stories.  I used the life of actor/singer Judy Garland (1922-69) - the narrative arc of her life - as a metaphor for what is happening in American political culture.
I then drew analogies with French medieval epic poetry - the chansons de geste - as a metaphor for the American political narrative's propagandist elements which are not unlike the Middle Ages when chansons de geste described the Christian/Islamic conflict of the Crusades. This time I wove these elements together using a queer lens by adapting iconic Hollywood and Broadway musicals. It was a way to explore qualities I admire and those that I fear using one lens.
Images from this series were presented at the Hitting The Target workshop at The University of Surrey in 2012 to support reflection on new technologies and capabilities for intervention. The progressive American Jewish Tikkun Magazine's online edition published a revealing interview about my paintings in A Star Is Born: Metaphorical Portraits of America in 2011. In Dec 2012 five paintings were selected for the collaborative book 2012 London International Creative Competition (LICC). In April 2013 the Queer Psychoanalytical Society published my thoughts on thesen paintings for their publication The Qouch.  My 5th solo exhibition of these paintings was held in Perth,Western Australia in August 2013.  More information is available in the In Print section.
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"Does art lend itself to polemics? Is there a role for the artist as polemicist? Carl Gopalkrishnan – known in the world of art as Carl Gopal – has no doubt that passion is and should be the heart of an artist’s work. Painting is his way of taking to the audience a strongly worded visual message where passion is essential, controversy is for embracing, and the orthodoxies of the establishment are to be confronted. His politics are imbued in his art. His art is imbued with his politics". [more]
Jocelynne A. Scutt 
Human Rights Lawyer/former High Court Judge/Academic
The Art of the Possible, Cambridge University, UK 03-05-12