In a YouTube video titled, “Trump vs. Earth,” San Juan Bautista artist, Christopher Edward Woods, is seen wearing a President Trump mask, taking aim at a canvas with a shotgun. He fires and black paint begins oozing onto a painting of the world, an image symbolizing crude oil seeping from the depths of both land and sea.
On Saturday, May 6, Woods’ bullet-riddled painting and other artwork will be featured as part of Vertigo Coffee Roasters’ “First Saturdays,” a monthly series that began in January showcasing the work of local artists. This weekend’s art show runs from 4 to 9 p.m. at the coffee house.
In a telephone interview with BenitoLink, the 20-something-year old artist described his work as a collection of “mixed-media,” incorporating traditional elements with the non-traditional.
Woods’ eclectic portfolio includes jewelry with gear and timepiece pendants, trees sculpted from copper wire with their roots clinging to rocks, murals that decorate people’s homes and schoolyard blacktops, an arrangement of beer bottle caps that form Fremont’s Peak, and decoupage paintings with headlines ripped from national newspapers.
Veritgo barista and the series’ curator, Jarae Tanner, explained in an email to BenitoLink that Woods’ “fresh and new” ideas, coupled with his diverse repertoire and longtime connection to San Juan resulted in his selection as this month’s artist.
Woods’ new body of work has been fueled by the election of Trump and his administration’s position on issues, such as immigration and climate change.
Referring to proposed cuts in the Environmental Protection Agency and the signing of an executive order to resurrect the construction of the Keystone Pipeline, Woods stated that, “Trump doesn’t care that shooting the world for oil and money also bleeds the Earth.”
In an effort to educate others about the environmental impact of what he terms “Trump’s negligence,” Woods has placed QR codes on his paintings, allowing the viewing public to use their cell phones to scan the canvases and learn more about the president’s policies or watch the artist steady his 12-gauge before firing.
Woods is under no impression that his work will convince those in the nation’s capital to change their course.
Instead, he hopes that those who attend this Saturday’s art show leave with a new perspective, and perhaps be more politically motivated.
“I want people to have a new train of thought that creates a conversation and change,” Woods said, adding “I want to create a ripple effect that leads to more political drive or action.”
Visit Christopher Edward Woods’ website.