The novelty of The Dark Knight Massacre has somewhat worn off for the media but a number of us are still processing the incident — especially those in the art community.

The work we’d like to show you today is a piece done by our good friend Louisa Bertman. We’ve featured some of Bertman’s work in past, she’s much of a reactionary; holding a conversation with the world around her through her own unique language of vivid portraits.

We contacted Bertman recently about her piece below and held a little conversation of our own about James Holmes and how she felt about the incident, not only as an artist but as a member of society in general.

Courtesy of Louisa Bertman.

On the process of the piece and the Dark Knight Massacre:

“James Holmes is obviously psychotic and Schizophrenic. For the rest of us it’s an awful sick terrifying reality.

In terms of the process…well, this event affected me pretty deeply. Obviously the event itself. I’m a comic/action movie fan and know the excitement the audience was feeling to be going to this opening/midnight movie…I can absolutely see heading into the movie – stoned and psyched – laughing and hanging with my brothers…hoping the movie’s going to be what we’ve built it up to be… – and then “bammm” – the terror of what happened next. I mean – what the fuck!?! My heart goes out to everyone in that audience. It’s fuck’ng sick.

Yes it was tough to illustrate. But it’s important that I don’t discriminate illustrating the light as well as the dark reality. If I’m not documenting the reality what’s the point of my work? It’s my responsibility to myself as well as my profession that I stand up and draw the horror along with the happy.

The truth is this horrible thing did happen. It’s important that we don’t act as though it didn’t.”

Courtesy of Louisa Bertman.

One Response

  1. Nikolai

    I think Bertman is missing the point about what is rubbing people (me, at any rate) the wrong way. No one is pretending the event didn’t happen and I certainly realize the importance of processing the event in different ways, including art. What rubs me the wrong way is THE WAY HE IS DEPICTED. He’s all decked out in fly threads with Heath Ledger “Joker” styling, which is essentially equating him with a celebrated icon in popular culture….essentially, she took a mentally ill kid who sadistically ruined the lives of 70 people (including paralyzing a mother and killing her 6-year old daughter), and completely indulged (frankly, assisted) his goal of becoming some kind of pop culture figure. Is presenting him in such a glorious fashion the only effective way of artistically interpreting this horrific tragedy? Sure she has every right too, and the piece on its own is aesthetically awesome….but is it interpreting it in a way that is sensitive to the 70+ victims of this tragedy? Could he perhaps been depicted in a way that pondered his motivations without making him look like a cool, larger-than-life cult antihero?

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