George Zimmerman’s Paintings: A Critical Appraisal

Art critics call the paintings of the man who fatally shot Trayvon Martin “primitive” and “appalling”

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AP / Courtesy Robert Zimmerman Jr.

Watch out, George W. Bush. Another man has joined the former president atop the list of America’s most beguiling painters: George Zimmerman. Art world watchers are not amused.

On Wednesday, the Florida man who was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the Trayvon Martin case, shared his newest work of art with the world when his brother Robert Zimmerman, Jr., tweeted a photo of “Angie,” a red and orange illustration of the special prosecutor involved in his case, Florida State Attorney Angela Corey.

“Angie” is not the first time Zimmerman has picked up a brush. In December, the former neighborhood watchman sold a blue, latex paint illustration of the American flag with the text “God One Nation with Liberty and Justice For All” for $100,099.99 on the auction site eBay.

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eBay

“It’s very primitive,” said Jason Edward Kaufman, a contributing editor at Art+Auction, about Zimmerman’s work, “the sort of thing an art critic wouldn’t look at twice.”

While the American flag painting may look like a military ad or a patriotic poster, “Angie” looks like a “bloodbath,” Kaufman said.

“They’re just kind of so appalling that you hate to make comparisons,” said Andrew Russeth, art critic for the New York Observer, when asked to place Zimmerman’s painting in the context of a particular artistic movement. “It looks like someone is doing paint by number.”

Russeth panned the paintings as “a desperate cry for attention.”

“People like George Zimmerman and George W. Bush who don’t seem to be able to make their cases in other ways kind of see art as a field in which they can redeem themselves,” he added.

Christian Viveros-Faune, art critic for the Village Voice, said Zimmerman’s work fits alongside other “murderabilia,” comparing his work to paintings by serial killer John Wayne Gacy and cult leader Charles Manson.

“Just because you get pigment and a canvas or a piece of cloth and you dirty it up doesn’t make it a work of art,” said Viveros-Faune.

Not everyone agrees with the critics. Comments on the eBay listing for Zimmerman’s American flag painting laud the former watchdog as a “hero” whose “resilience is astonishing and inspirational!”

On eBay, Zimmerman offered a defense of his work.

“I found a creative, way to express myself, my emotions and the symbols that represent my experiences,” a post attributed to Zimmerman reads.  “My art work allows me to reflect, providing a therapeutic outlet and allows me to remain indoors :-)”

32 comments
balloons
balloons

The Trayvonauts are so b-hurt it is mildly amusing just to check out their complaints. Especially when they hurl the racist charge and bring The One into it, implying that the only reasonable explanation for anybody who criticizes Obama is what? Racism of course.


Bottom line is Zimmerman escaped a lynch mob. With Obama leading the charge and Holder holding the rope.

Sharc
Sharc

That's odd -- why would  Time crop out the political commentary added by the artist at the top of the painting?  I'm sure it was inadvertent.  Correction forthcoming?

BenIncaHutz
BenIncaHutz

He is a murderer and coward. If some person pays more then $1 for it I would not be surprised. Republicans love welfare when it provides for those for people that do their bidding for them since it allows them to keep their hands clean.

dabble53
dabble53

Even Hitler had, and has, some fans.

The fact Zimmerman has fans of his art speaks more to the state of his fans than of his art.

ReverendKyle78
ReverendKyle78

Not that I care for Zimmerman or his art, but the opinion of an "art critic" means absolutely nothing to me.  His last painting fetched over 100K at auction so it must be worth something to somebody. 

mesobe
mesobe

How I weep for Americans. Between this guy and Sarah Palin, I am surprised the apocalypse hasn't been triggered yet.


This is not art. This is not painting. It is a tacky Photoshop collage based on someone else's photograph. The fact that people are calling him a "hero" or even critiquing this crap is depressing.

ChristopherRobin
ChristopherRobin

Sorry, but you can't take a copyrighted image or work call it yours and try to sell it.  Making it different or editing the photo doesn't cut it either.  All you guys moaning about AP suing should ask GZ to paint something else.  Does he lack the imagination to paint and draw his own picture of Angela?  Why does he need to use someone's photo to do it?  Apparently, GZ lacks creativity or simply can't paint at all.  Perhaps one day GZ will actually do his own ORIGINAL work of art and not trace or Photoshop some layers over something that has already been done.

DaveDavis
DaveDavis

"Art critics call the paintings of the man who fatally shot Trayvon Martin “primitive” and “appalling”"

A perfect description of the Justice system we have in this country.  More people in jail, than in any other country in the world.


Of course, he could have dropped a jewish cross into a glass of urine, and been a raving success.




balloons
balloons

George can always claim he copied it from the video of Angela Corey - George Zimmerman Charged with 2nd Degree Murder - Angela's gesture of contempt for justice is right there at around the 1:10 mark. 

kerouac1000
kerouac1000

oh and p.s Warhol's "paintings" wernt even strictly paintings either-they were silkscreens taken directly from the newspaper photographs and then done in different coloured inks with added "painterly" squiggles

kerouac1000
kerouac1000

i dont get it-now AP is suing Zimmerman for using their photo?? when did using a news photo for a painting become an original or illegal activity?? it didnt stop Warhol from becoming a superstar -his silver double disaster painting just went for 105 million

NaomiBlue
NaomiBlue

I've seen some of the artwork these critics value, therefore my value I give to their 2 cents worth is less than zero.

JuancarlosSBionchi
JuancarlosSBionchi

THE PINT IS NOT WETHER ZIMMERMAN IS GOOD PAINTER OR NOT, THE POINT IS, THAT WHAT HE DID IS PERFECTLY 

LEGAL. LOOK ANDY WARHOL PAINTING, ALL ARE PAINTING ARE FROM  A PHOTOGRAPHY!


IS PERFECTLY LEGAL, AND I THINK THE SHOULD STOP HUNTING THIS GAY WHO WAS PROCESS BY THE COUT OF LAW AS AN INNOCENT P[ERSON! STO P TI , AND STOP MANIPULATING AMERICANS THIS NOT A DICTATORSHIP, WE ARE LIVING IN THE SYSTEM OF LAW! LEAVE THE GAY ALONG! IN THE NAME OF THE CONSTITUTION OS UNATED STATES!!! WHO THE HELL THIS PEOPLE THING THEY ARE DOING!!!

JuancarlosSBionchi
JuancarlosSBionchi

IS PERFECTLY LEGAL TO MAKE USE OF AN IMAGE TIO CREATE ANOTHER PIECE OF ART IN ANOTHER MEDIUM! AP AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER BOTH AERE GOING TO LOOSE THIS BATTLE,. THE PHOTO DOES NOT HAVE THE SAME COLOR AN TEXT ON THE TOP!


FOR EXAMPLE THE ICON OF "CHE" GEVARA ( A COMMUNIST KILLER) WE HAVE SEEN IT IN DIFFERENT WAY ALONGE THE 

HISTORY AND THE REAL IMAGE BELONG TO A CUBAN PHOTOGRAPHER CORDA.


SECON IN ART THIS ACTION IS COLLED "APPROPRIATION". ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS THE ANDY WARHOL PAINTING OF MARILYN MONROE!


BY THE WAY IAM GOING TO MAKE ANOTHER PAINTING BASED ON THE SAME IMAGES AND I WOULOD CHALLENGE ANYONE TO SUE ME!!

MarioMontalvo
MarioMontalvo

Reminds me of the movie Art School Confidential where nobody wanted to buy the guy's art until they though he was a murderer.

bocadiver1
bocadiver1

John Gilday - I tthink y'all hit it on the head.

bocadiver1
bocadiver1

Way to go kribby... blame the liberals. Easier than having an original thought.

bocadiver1
bocadiver1

I look at the works of Jackson Pollack, for example,  and wonder how these same critics who are slamming Zimmerman can gush over squggles of color that a rambunctious 2 year old could duplicate. The "art world" seems to be filled with a bunch of pretentious blowhards. This is not to say that George's work is worth a plugged nickel but exactly what determines greatness? Apparantly a bunch of self-appointed critics who lack the ability to think independantly.

kribby
kribby

majority of these 'critics' are flaming liberals anyways.


probably get off to thinking about how artistic 'Piss Christ' was.

JohnGilday
JohnGilday

Somehow I can't help but think that the names of the artists were as important to the 'critics' as the works themselves.

If both artists remained unnamed, I would guess their work would be considered somewhat more fairly.

But haters always gonna hate

BenCaesar
BenCaesar

I like his artwork a lot. But i won't pay him one dollar for any of it. Idiots pay that much. And Trayvon was a thug regardless.

LaylaGodey
LaylaGodey

Not my own preferred style, but I don't see it as "appalling"-I've seen similar style praised by "art critics"...stuff *I* wouldn't have looked at twice.

xmerrxo
xmerrxo

A therapeutic outlet to what? Murdering teenagers? Yeah.

As someone that considers myself a pretty bad artist, I could paint circles around this guy. This stuff is crap.

postingonline42
postingonline42

@BenIncaHutz the guy is a murderer. 

However buying a painting is the opposite of welfare. It is capitalism. The money comes voluntarily from some rich idiot (the buyer of the painting) to buy some labor (painting) from another idiot. 

Welfare is when government bureaucracy decides who to take money from, and who or what to give the money to.

charity is not welfare. charity is capitalist, and America used to have a lot of it (mostly church-based) that went away at the turn of the 20th century.

 

marthamartha
marthamartha

@kerouac1000 Warhol was sued multiple times for that behavior and usually settled out of court. He could afford it. Can GZ?

JanaMirrh
JanaMirrh

@JuancarlosSBionchi  Actually Warhol was sued for copyright infringement many times. Re: the Campbell's soup can, while the company did file a suit against Warhol, they eventually dropped it after seeing how good it was and looked at it as free product endorsement/advertising too. 


When it honors a person and doesn't put the orignal work in a bad light, the law is a bit lenient. But when someone's original work is used to insult, and/or can be considered libelous (subject Corey). It's not satire but a passive aggressive attempt to insult Corey by using someone else's art (photo). Now if he made his own art with Corey as the subject and insulting her, it can be considered libelous, but also free speech. Using the copy of an image and photoshop filters to make it look like a painting, adding the text to insult Corey is not free speech. Another way he is breaking the law is he is using it to profit from it. Again, unlike Warhol and others actually honor the subject they copied from. Zimmerman is not famous for his art, but infamous for killing someone. Let him created his own version of Corey, and if she chooses to sue him for libel, or well.


He should just stop with his Fu to the world which doesn't agree with him, and committing crimes (speeding, loaded weapon on seat inside car) and domestic incidences (his wife, father-in-law and current girlfriend. He also seems to think he is above the law, since he does get away with a lot that others do not, but his become public.


Just stop saying something is legal, in ALL CAPS, when you don't know that, because it isn't true. Now maybe he can ask the owner first before he sells another 'painting'



mazigazi
mazigazi

@JuancarlosSBionchiAndy Warhol was a designer and an artist. his works, while yes sometimes are based on photos, are deftly executed comments on consumerism and pop culture. There is content there, style, and true artistic abilities. 

And, as for this "gay" you speak of, he is a product of his own actions. He is exploiting his fame by selling his art on ebay. Wak up and notice that he has entered the arena by his own choice. People commenting here are doing exactly what he seems to be craving: giving him attention.

nigelrocker
nigelrocker

@kribbyYou belong in George's room with him  ... Painting by numbers   ...

VeraNarishkin
VeraNarishkin

@andrewyarusso@xmerrxoWhat sold that painting at such a high price was not the painting itself but the person who painted it. Zimmerman has a large adoring following of racists and gun nuts and racist gun nuts. Some of them have that kind of money to throw away.