The Golden Age of Piracy


Pirates in Today's Culture

Pirates are a popular force in our culture today, they are probably second only to zombies in generic pop culture characters.  Pirates are so popular you see them everywhere, they have become a sacred cow.  This is where my idea for “The Golden Age of Piracy” ended up.  I have painted several pirate artworks, mostly because of where I live and working with Captain Carl “Fizz” Fismer, a treasure diver.  I wasn’t satisfied with the traditional pirate art, I wanted something more.  I wanted to make the ultimate pirate artwork, the is where I started when creating “The Golden Age of Piracy”.

The Pirate Flag

What makes a pirate flag or jolly roger so powerful for so many years is how simple the design is.  Pirate flags just might be the first modern corporate logo.  With this idea I started to draw out “The Golden Age of Piracy”, the skull and crossbones would be the center of the design.  From there I wanted to get the full pirate mythology in the design. The pirate artwork contains not only the skull and crossbones, but two additional skulls in a profile view.  Two mermaids swim around the center skull, trying to lure us in, almost welcoming us the the skull and crossbones.  Luring us to death? Or luring us to the now romantic life of a pirate?  Sea Monsters, an Octopus or two, and a turtle are some of the creatures real or not that pirates would have encountered or told tall tales about.  The ships in the painting? A simple sloop, the type of ship most pirates would have used, not the commonly pictured galleons.  The flintlock pistols and the swords remind us of the violent life the pirates led. The Golden Age of Piracy is a term used for the period in time when pirates sailed the seas from  the 1650s to the 1730s.  I thought the name was perfect for the golden work of art.  Have the violent pirates with their promise of democracy and sailing the seas, become a golden calf?