The War of All Against All

Nineteen Seventy – Acrylic on canvas – 36 x 66 inches.

Every Day The President Ignores A Sign From God

The president puts a hand
Upon the shoulder of god

And whispers,

“You don’t understand.

We’re the good guys.”

Angel Dominguez (1989-)


This painting was inspired by events that happened around 1970 and was based on images I found in the print media during those days. The astronaut appeared in Life Magazine; the dome came from a book on Islamic architecture; the woman and the one she cries for was copied from a photograph taken by the combat photographer, Larry Burrows, that also appeared in Life.

Today news of mass deaths seems to come from everywhere, especially from Ukraine and Gaza. Astronauts are still with us, so are mosques. The women and the victims they mourn have multiplied by millions. Are the presidents paying attention? Doubtful. One of them is supposed to have said, “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” He died in 1953, but his successors still complain about how little God understands them.

We began the post with the words of a poet. Let’s end with the words of another one:


I know the truth.
Forget all other truths.
No need for people
anywhere on this earth
to struggle.
For what? Poets?
Lovers? Generals?

Look: it is evening,
Look: it is nearly night.
The wind is level now,
the air is wet with dew.
Soon all of us will sleep
beneath the earth,
we, who never let each other
sleep above it.

Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941)

Mistaken Identities

Dawn Fields – Acrylic on canvas – 32 x 48 inches.

Thanks to films and television, many people I encounter during my travels outside of the United States are surprised to learn that California is not a wonderland of palm trees, sleek automobiles, handsome dudes, and radiant blondes. Also, that it snows here, that San Francisco is not the capitol, and that — alas — you are not a movie star.

Why anyone would take any of the above assumptions to be true is not worth much further thought, except that we’re all enchanted by fantasies, no? Especially our own? Even fantasies we didn’t realize we had? Let’s say, for example, you’re in Avignon, France in a hardware store looking for a fitting for the nozzle of a garden hose, when a stranger walks up and tells you that he and his wife “super-enjoyed” your latest film. It would be best to say, “merci,” and walk away, basking in the glow of your own vanity. That is, unless vanity gets the best of you, and after a couple of questions you learn which movie star the man had mistaken you for. And you discover, immediately and sadly, that vanity, disappointment and humility are three sides of the same coin.

So, wonderlands aside, here’s an image of California you might see if you were on a flight landing in the Central Valley, in Sacramento, the capitol, at dawn on a morning like today. No cars, no blondes, no snow. No film stars either. Neither real ones, nor ones in somebody’s imagination.