Using Gilbert Stuart and Rembrandt Peale’s iconic portrait of George Washington as a starting point, Quinn’s painting of the first American president takes a humorous turn towards the Freudian. Dad With Tits was amongst the first of a series of work dealing with portraiture and authority figures. Playing a semiotic game with the notion of ‘founding father’, Quinn conceives his portrait as something of an oedipal autopsy: a naked decaying corpse boasting a mumsy set of mams. Through the window a volcano, reminiscent of heroic landscapes by Frederic Edwin Church, explodes with both revolutionary and sexual innuendo. The bird perched on Dad’s shoulder is a device commonly used in early Christian art to represent the departing soul of the recently deceased.

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