I’ve never watched so much television in my life as I have in 2020. It started with the televised Covid briefings but quickly expanded into regular viewership of all of the cable news outlets. I watched enough of it that I developed my favourites. Living on the west coast, I began substituting cable news for the 6 PM national news. I watched Rachel Maddow when there was a breaking news story; nobody tells the story like Rachel can. I watched Cuomo, especially when he had his brother, Governor Cuomo, as a guest. The banter between them made me wish I’d grown up with a brother. And I watched Hannity’s opening monologue because that was sure to offer up a countervailing viewpoint. I called the 6 PM timeslot “The Witching Hour” when I painted the three anchors together.
Covid caused many of us to develop new habits, even to do quirky things we’d never done before. After all, we’d never had so much free time on our hands. I started painting “collections”. First came the Governor Cuomo collection. Every few days I’d complete a new portrait of the governor until I had several of them. A very talented gentleman pulled them all together for me and produced this poster. I call it the 2022 re-election poster because I can envision it in every subway station in New York City. Well maybe not but . . .
I said I watched the Cuomo brothers together on Cuomo Prime Time. Well I also painted them together. I called it “Brotherly Love” partly because I wish I’d had some of that around me when I was growing up but mostly because their never-ending banter was hilarious to everyone except the Fox News camp.
We don’t see the Governor on his brother’s show anymore but their entertainment value has been replaced with the “Chris and Don Show”. Late at night, after the political conventions, there they were, together. Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon co-anchoring post convention coverage when most of the east coast had already gone to bed. They called themselves the “Clean Up Crew” as they delivered their post convention analysis. For eight nights after the virtual convention there I was with my iPhone snapping pictures of my television set when the two of them got into it (recall I mentioned developing new habits). They laughed, they teased, they disagreed, they entertained and they one upped each other. And I painted them.
The Cuomo/Lemon show continued after the debates in the fall. This time they described themselves as the “Men In Pants” because they appeared on a full set where it became necessary to wear a full suit when on air. This was often a debate after the debate. More screen shots, more painting, another poster.
Every artist will have a few favourites in their work. I’m no exception. I’ll let you guess which ones.