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Painting of disgraced San Diego mayor Bob Filner
Haunting Filner

I currently reside in the San Diego area and, in 2013, Bob Filner was the Mayor of “America’s Finest City.” I’ll let history decide if he was a good mayor or a bad mayor, but certain facts remain: 19 women stepped out and accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior. Even his fiancé broke off their engagement. He resigned, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced. Enough said.

But it was a scandalous time for the city. These accusations dominated the news. Time and again when I was showed my work at art fairs, people approached me: “You should paint Filner!” When you hear this repeated times, you pay attention.

And, the truth is, Filner has one of those faces that I wanted to jump into with a paintbrush. Such an interesting face. So many defining wrinkles. I wanted to show the pain, the conflict that was so evident with his facial expressions.

But I wanted to do more than a portrait or a caricature. I wanted this to represent San Diego during this specific time period. So I included ghostly images of disapproving/disappointed women in the background.

Who are these women? Are they portraitures of the women involved? No. These are all twisted and distorted images of friends of mine and they simply represent all women in San Diego. The only disclosure is my nod to Edvard Munch. Somehow, it seemed appropriate to include “The Screamer.”

The original painting is 30” x 24”.