The Pemberton Cycle

battle on the ridge color
The Pemberton Cycle is a quasi-accurate historical narrative based on the life of General John Pemberton, a Confederate Civil War General originally hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Using the artist’s friends as amateur re-enactors, the six part narrative cycle traces Pemberton’s story as a young cadet, his early friendship with Ulysses S. Grant, his marriage to Martha Thompson from Richmond, Virginia and the battles and eventual surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi to General Grant. The paintings are developed using an analog-to-digital-to-analog process. Multiple brush and ink drawings are edited together in Photoshop and then output to computer cut stencils with house paint and metal leaf applied forming heavily saturated and highly graphic images. The paintings make references to William Hogarth, Winslow Homer, Goya as well as historical and re-enacted images available on-line.

General Pemberton was so heavily distrusted after the surrender of Vicksburg that he was stripped of his rank and would not be permitted to be buried in the Confederate graveyard in Vicksburg (he is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia) Pemberton spent the remaining years of life defending his reputation and refuting the historical record. After the war was lost, the only thing left to fight for was his convictions and principles.