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A portrait of Joseph Heller, the author of the brilliant satire, Catch-22.

Yosarian must fly a quota of missions before he can return home from Heller’s fictional war. Yosarian knows that if he flies more missions, he will be killed. Every time he approaches his quota, the military increases the number required. Yosarian is scared, but discovers there is a way out – if he can be certified as crazy, he will be discharged and sent home.

“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.

“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

I’d wanted to depict this diabolical conundrum ever since I experienced it first hand. I created a portrait that can be flipped two ways to represents two states of mind. The first is the raging, protesting world of the crazed but sane. The second is the sorrowful state of acceptance that our fate is inescapable due thanks to our personal Catch-22. A duo of ‘2’s are flipped to create the core stroke running through the two faces.

Catch-22

Ilia chidzey

AUD$1,250
Size: 64w x 95h x 2.5d cms
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Glass overlaying mirror  enamel and acrylic

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Additional Information

A portrait of Joseph Heller, the author of the brilliant satire, Catch-22.

Yosarian must fly a quota of missions before he can return home from Heller’s fictional war. Yosarian knows that if he flies more missions, he will be killed. Every time he approaches his quota, the military increases the number required. Yosarian is scared, but discovers there is a way out – if he can be certified as crazy, he will be discharged and sent home.

“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.

“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

I’d wanted to depict this diabolical conundrum ever since I experienced it first hand. I created a portrait that can be flipped two ways to represents two states of mind. The first is the raging, protesting world of the crazed but sane. The second is the sorrowful state of acceptance that our fate is inescapable due thanks to our personal Catch-22. A duo of ‘2’s are flipped to create the core stroke running through the two faces.