American Armageddon was created as a billboard. In 1969 was mounted on the garage of our rented house along side of the road that ran a short way into the mountains. There was not a lot of traffic but it soon became a small sensation with people driving up the road to view it.
Unfortunately an early and very cold winter snapped the polyester resin coating and moisture caused the artwork to warp. The work was moved to the local bar in the canyon where it hung on the wall of the pool room for several years. The large round hole looks like a pool ball punched a hole in the resin and the small hole was probably created by a pool cue.
The work was created with Koh-I-Noor ink, acrylic paint and resin on pasteboard laminated on plywood and, unfortunately, coated with polyester resin. Over the years the resin has begun to yellow. The dimensions inside the frame are 4 x 8 feet.
Later I was a reluctant hippy on the fringe of society. We watched our leaders being blown away one by one with the assassination Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, John Lennon and all the accidental deaths of the witnesses of the Kennedy assassination. While we thought we were safe because we had dropped out of society, the first sign that there was a movement against hippydom was the conversion of the alternative FM radio stations.
In those early years of FM radio, the bandwidth had opened up and a number of new FM stations began playing half hour tracks of the Doors and the Beatles without commercial interruption or the insipid three-minute songs. Those new FM stations were like the Internet of today, broadcasting love-ins protests and marches and where to go to take part in those events. That information slowly faded away but first there was the poison slipped in between the songs.
Hippydom was more than just dropping out and turning on. It was a vast revolution of the mind, an exploration into alternative ways of thinking and values. Not all the experiments worked and for all the judgment and hippier-than-thou-ness it was still based on the optimism that humankind could move from consumption and exploitation to hope and creativity.
So when these radio stations which we trusted as our beacons in the void began broadcasting advertisements for banking and same old rhetoric of the early monetization of everything, we knew it was over and that we had been sold out.