|If I decide to output this as a digital print, it could possibly resemble this jpeg.|
I had this idea last August to make a pile of people like I had made a pile of snakes. So I generated a quickie "collage" in photoshop using old figure drawings and let it sit there until about two weeks ago.
|This is the quickie collage.|
The original painting "Raft of the Medusa" by Theodore Gericault, depicts the survivors of the wreck of the ship Meduse. Read about it here! It's a painting I have adored for a long time and I do not wish for anyone to compare my piece to that one as I am not capable (nor all that interested, to be honest) of that type of painting. BUT, I did think I could contribute to the genre somehow. (Of which genre do I speak? Why the "shipwrecked on a life raft as a metaphor for life" genre. That one.)
First: I did an actual pencil drawing with PENCILS. I am sure you remember them. At this point, I have, like ten ways of drawing. I doodle in ballpoint. I mess around in Photoshop. And I do the occasional meticulous pencil drawing. Please note: meticulous pencil drawings are NOT a necessary step in the stained glass design process. You can make windows out of scrawlings on napkins if you so desire.
The pencil drawing looked like this:
|Real pencil drawing!|
And yes, Virginia, this will be a stained glass window someday, or that's the plan. I am thinking a black and white grissaile, assembled with lead, my favorite metal. However, I tweaked it an that might end up looking something more like this:
|(do me a big favor and picture a raft below them)|
Which looked like this (once they were compiled):
|Yes, I did love paper dolls as a child!|
|The new figures were drawn on a separate page and put together in Pshop.|
As for the subject matter and why it might resonate for me at this moment? I will let you decide if it does and how and why it does that. Suffice it to say, I was pretty concerned with any attempt by ME to represent "HUMANITY"....but, I decided to try anyway. Its one of the more presumptuous parts of the artist's job description. Plus, there's this irony about figurative art that ensures that it will always upset, offend, outrage people (which I think explains a lot about iconoclasm, a topic I would like to take a deep dive into at some point). Why is this? Because figurative artists only have two choices and they both kind of suck. Represent one's own self or represent The Other (any and everyone else who is not them). I have always tried to dodge this catch-22 with what is a semi-viable third option: imaginary people! But this piece is supposed to be human-kind. So I had to depict people other than my own proxies. I will sum this topic up by pointing out that humanity seems currently to be a writhing mass of fear, despair, confusion, rage and discontent. As an artist, I hope, actually to present a venue for contemplation which is safe, "nice" to look at (or perhaps better stated that I deliberately provide aesthetic incentives for looking) and maybe a little humorous. Not that there's ANYTHING funny about what we are contending with right now--because there really isn't. But art hides behind its fourth wall and the artifice is one of its best strategies to sneak into your consciousness and give people a platform to make actual change. And aesthetics, including beauty and humor encourage active and sustained engagement with a subject that can be otherwise unbearable.
So, back to the technical hoohah: making it repeat sounds simple but its not--it took days on end actually. So finally, here it is: the perfect wall paper for your powder room or home abattoir.
|Color version repeated four times|
|Black and white version repeated four times|
|Some details of my favorite sections|
|The Stockholm Syndrome section of the piece.|
|Character in this section include "Persephone", "Icarus" and the wresting guys from the lower left panel of "Battle of Carnival and Lent"|