Click on images
The murders of Allen Schindler, Matthew Shepard, Billy Jack Gaither, Barry Winchell and others are impacting the national psyche in curious ways, and I became focused on a series of paintings that interpret them from my own imagination. Far from being simple crimes, other factors such as economics, politics, religion, and societal mores influenced each of these men, their killers, and the ensuing events. As a result, the news of their deaths and the circumstances surrounding them created widespread public interest; in some cases outrage, in other cases celebration. And overall a hardening of attitudes both positive and negative regarding gays and lesbians and their place in American society and culture. It is perhaps remarkable that during two of the subsequent murder trials the so-called “Gay Panic” defense was either thrown out by the judge (Shepard's) or ignored (Gaither's).