All Images Copyright of James Mellick
The Art of James Mellick: Here We Go Again
Here We Go Again, 1986
Private Collection, Chicago, IL
38" x 38" x 18", cedar and copper
The title for “Here We Go Again” was inspired by Ronald Reagan’s response to Walter Mondale in a presidential debate, “There you go again”. It was created shortly after President Reagan and European allies bombed Libya and Maummar Gaddafi for the bombing of a Berlin nightclub. In broader meaning it was about the “tit for tat” response for violence in the Middle East and the “sand flees” that instigate it.
I thought this was created in 1985 but the bombing was in March 1986. It is still one of my earliest dog sculptures and a little more primitive in its craft but the image is very strong. The level of carving detail such as the ears, eyes, nose and paws had not developed yet. My early dogs in the early 1980’s were carved in cedar.
My sculptures have several layers of meaning and references. The basic layer of this is a globe of a “dog eat dog” world with the dogs as continents and the negative spaces as the oceans. There is a strong reference Escher and a Zen element of yin and yang.
I did not get to live with this piece very long. It sold at my Chicago gallery (back then), Rosenthal Fine Arts Ltd. Dennis Rosenthal told me that it was purchased by a “major collector” of American art.