RZA on Recreating Washington Painting…
West Coast Sound: Explain the process of creating Victory or Death. Did you paint the faces on, or did you commission someone else to do that? Red hand prints are yours, though?
RZA: I’m a pretty busy man, I have a pretty tight schedule. So WAIL [When Art Imitates Life] decided that to make it easier to get it done, they decided that instead of going to some photo studio downtown or in Hollywood, let‚s bring the photo studio to RZA‘s house. I got six thousand square feet to play with. So we brought the canvases here, the crew and staff, the photographers, the painters. They brought everything to me, which made it much easier. We were very conscious of time. We said we would take six hours to get the foundation of this thing done, and we did it. No holds barred. We just went in and we did it.
It took me like an hour to put this suit on, first of all. I didn’t know George Washington wore tights so tight. I actually couldn’t put the tights on how I was supposed to because they were so tight. I was kind of embarrassed with the tights on because they really hug your nuts. So instead of the tights that we bought from the prop house, I had a pair of tights [thermals] also. I’m from New York. So I put on my own tights. I didn’t wear the costume tights that they bought. More baggy, more space for my nuts. We tried some shots with the wig, without the wig, with the hat, without the hat, some with me holding my beat machine. It was real fun.