kata (in character as a Time Traveling Courtesan) examines the central themes of the painting which are PAUL Mc CARTNEY, JESUS, LAMBCHOP, DEPRESSION, FAME and SELF-IMAGE.
This scenario from my imagination shows 'The Lord' visiting -
a clinically depressed
Jesus slides a Lamb chop Puppet in to Paul's peripheral field of vision.
Paul hasn't bothered to get out of his scarlet bath robe.
he's too depressed---
his white socks dangle off the ends of his toes.
he is disheveled.
On the wall behind him is the cause of his plight...
(some say she broke up the band)...
back to the painting...
Paul has taken a paint brush and scrawled an X through one of Yoko's pictures
he painted red "devils horns" on another ---
to quote John Lennon on this topic- "I've always thought there was this underlying thing in Paul's 'Get Back.' When we were in the studio recording it, every time he sang the line 'Get back to where you once belonged," he'd look at Yoko."
Jesus' expression is slightly mischievous.
He knows that Paul doesn't want to communicate directly-
so he moves the puppet's lambswool mouth instead
and uses a falsetto voice...
trying to cheer Paul up.
The PRIMARY ORIGINAL of this piece is the largest painting of my career and is for sale in my eBay Gallery for over 500 thousand.
for more about this painting scroll to the bottom of this page or follow this link to the piece in my eBay Gallery.
Ringo Studies a Bosch
A Stranger Showed Up at the Beatles Pool Party
After The Beatles Showed up at the Club El Morocco Elvis Took the Red Pill
Imagine Being Free
ABOUT MY GRADUATE THESIS: The goal of my Graduate Thesis was to portray Jesus in real time and with the full gamut of emotions in twenty first American culture. Some may find the above painted scenario frivolous. Please remember it is only ONE example of the goal of my THESIS (to show Jesus as an emotional being). One painting can not show ALL the span of emotions. As I mentioned in the preceding paragraph, I chose to show Jesus' humor, wit, satire and compassion in this scene. The piece also expressed (for me) Jesus' ability to cross time and culture lines. This is where my work becomes serious behind a seemingly frivolous facade. ABOUT THE PROBLEMS AMERICANS FACE: America has been known for its frivolity over the past few decades. The eighties was known as the "me" generation and was a time for getting rich from empty dot coms. The people of many countries have recently experienced much graver conditions than most Americans- but Americans may soon know the dangers and challenges which much of the rest of the world understands. The American economy is in serious trouble. We have exported some of the things we Americans do best (invention and production). Our textile mills are only one of the hundreds of industries that are now based overseas. Thomas Jefferson had strong warnings for America if the majority of its citizens ever became anything other than agrarian. He explained that this is the only way to remain self sufficient and independent individually and as a nation. The twentieth century witnessed bizarre measures to break apart the family farm. Crazy things happened- like our Government paying subsidies for farmers NOT to produce. Many of our elected officials are driven my greed and a lust for power. They have created new credos of policing other countries and now declare wars without the proper Constitutional "permission". This alone engenders much of the disdain we Americans encounter by the rest of the world. One third of American homes are in foreclosure, millions of Americans have been robbed of their savings and pensions by greedy elites and bankers. Although in some ways we Americans have grown up like children, we have not been immune to suffering. Our suffering has been more of the silent type. The statistics in our country show very high rates of sexual and spousal abuse. Our enlisted men and women are suffering record levels of post traumatic stress and suicide. Therefore the point of this painting remains: no matter the tribe or tongue we come from, Jesus sees, cares, and is ready to become the type of friend we need Him to be. He is ready and able to heal a leper, or to befriend a depressed rock star. I have painted more "serious" paintings but they can be perceived as "preachy" in our post-Christian culture.
here is an article by fuse tv. about this piece.
Meet the Woman Behind the $177,000 Jesus/Paul McCartney Painting
Earlier this week, I stumbled across a $177,000 eBay listing for a painting of Jesus Christ cheering up Paul McCartney with a Lamb Chop puppet, which you can read about/see at length here. The painting, which has been on eBay for more than two and a half years (and is returnable within seven days if you're not completely satisfied), was instantly fascinating in itself, but the price was what really grabbed me. I eBay messaged my phone number to the artist, hoping to ask her some questions about it, and she called me.
The following is a condensed transcript of my interview with 54-year-old Kata Billups of Colorado, the painter behind "Jesus Broke Out the Lambchop Puppet and Hired an Angel to Try and Cheer Up a Clinically Depressed Paul McCartney."
Tell me about your background and how you arrived at this painting.
I graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute when I was 19 years old, and that’s one of the best in the country. Then I started trying to find myself. I did murals and portraits, I tried everything. I didn't have an artistic voice. But then I read about a Nashville artist who made badly-painted paintings of himself and his parrot. They were slightly humorous. So I said, "If they want humor, I can give them humor!" I started doing humorous paintings of Elvis and they became an instant success, but soon I got burnt out on my Elvis stuff and I wanted to do paintings of The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, music I grew up with.
But I also wanted to paint Jesus! When I was 42, I went back to grad school thinking, “How the heck do you paint this 'Jesus' character?” Boy, that was the ultimate challenge. In the entire 20th century, less than a handful of famous artists attempted to do it. Manet painted him once and said he’d never do it again. I thought to myself, "How do paint him, especially if you think you know him? What are you going to say about him that hasn’t already been said and that's not going to be cliché?" So this painting is blending my icons (Paul McCartney and Lamb Chop) with my ultimate icon (Jesus Christ).
How did you arrive at the price?
Well, first, I honestly believe it's worth every penny. The price has to do with a book about numbers and scripture that was written around the turn of the century, about 1900, before computers. I chose $177,000 because I believe in the biblical significance of the number seven.
I really believe the painting is significant in the history of art. It's post-modern: I made Jesus like that because I wanted to show a different aspect of Jesus, like Jesus as a friend, and I thought, "What’s a better friend than one who kind of leaves you alone when you're bummed out, but still sits by your side?"
How much buyer interest has there been?
There was a [legally binding offer through eBay] for $100,000 and for some reason I hadn’t checked my computer for a while and it expired. That’s been the biggest sign of interest financially. But as far as human interest, there have been over 800,000 people who have looked at it. I haven’t really souped it up on eBay; I haven’t featured it, which is like what you can do to get a whole bunch of people to look at it.
Do you have more paintings in the pipeline?
I’m doing another with Paul McCartney. It’s Paul McCartney and Yoko, and Yoko is getting beamed up in the sky. This is from actual research that I’ve done on a top secret government program called Project Blue Beam. Basically, the military-industrial complex will beam down religious deities all over the world (Jesus in America, Allah in Saudi Arabia and so on) to implement a New World Order. That's my next painting.