Gale F. Trapp, 2009
Acrylic on hardboard 24×36″
Is this painting about a good man gone bad? Is this a man contemplating his first lawless actions?
Is the whiskey a morale builder or fortification before a ruthless act? Are the saddlebags for carrying personal effects? Or, for carrying loot from a planned hold up?
The proximity of the rifle indicates a close friend whose bite is lethal. The waist gun provides added protection… but from what?
The setting is a saloon, maybe for a clandestine meeting with those in the background – playing one last hand of Fargo.
The Hurricane Lamp banishes shadows to the far corners of the saloon where darkness covers the covert actions of co-conspirators or – friends.
The Spittoon is a reminder of the careless nature of the men who haunt the premises.
The bar is an attempt at refinement, where refinement is not wanted.
So, what do you think? Is this a good man gone bad?