The following artworks represent humans’ struggle with that which is outside our control. Whether faced with a global pandemic or our inevitable mortality, humans must come to terms with the conditions of our existence and the basic premise of life on Earth. First and foremost, all human beings must find a way to accept death in all its confusion and unknowable outcomes. Though this is a feature of all human existence, our daily lives have been even more so upset by the advent of a global pandemic that has us fearing the reality of death of ourselves and our loved ones that we generally keep at the back of our minds, hidden from view.
Play At Your Own Risk
Play at Your Own Risk came about when I was asked to write about the Seven Deadly Sins in Dante’s Inferno. I did not want to deal with each sin separately for this painting, so instead, I decided to portray a headless angel with the “devil’s” trimming above the wall.
The chessboard as an idea, with “Play at Your Own Risk” as marked on the squares, came from the movie The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman in which the knight plays chess with death.
Of course, we know who will win the game. Life is impermanent, and we all lose in the end. We all slide on the boardgame into the river of no return — that’s existence as we know it.
Coronavirus Honeymoon was born on canvas because of the times we are now living through. In this painting, I wanted to show how our relationships to one another are going to change — the outside world is not the only danger facing us at this point in time, but our own homes even pose a threat.
Mothers, fathers, and children go out into the workplace or school and come into contact with others. They come home and bring back whatever they have been in contact with. Safety is on our minds like never before and we are constantly being faced with the reality of our own eventual death.
In this painting, somewhat humorous, the figures have gas masks to protect themselves from one another and their own intimacy. They are naked, which is not intended to highlight promiscuity or sexuality, even though they seem to be frolicking; instead, their nakedness is representative of their vulnerability to their surroundings and their inability to protect themselves from fate.
I moved to Bellingham a few years ago and began my life as a writer, publishing numerous poetry collections and graduating to novels, which could be described as somewhat surreal. Crossed realities usually yield amazing and sometimes shocking results.
I am self-taught but have already published works in several art magazines (listed on my website) and several of my works have been in juried shows. I work mainly in acrylics on watercolor paper but have recently begun working on canvas. I would describe my work as eclectic because I am still learning and willing to experiment with shapes and colors depending on the mood (sometimes contradictory) of the theme I might be working on.
The images are a blend of the natural world and imaginary creatures. Some of my paintings have a message (subtle), but most do not. But then, you see what you want to see and hear what you want to hear. After all, everyone has a view and take on the world around them — I am engaged with the world around me and vice versa.
Serge Lecomte was born in Belgium, but came to the U.S. in his teens. He joined the Medical Corps in the Air Force, received a B.A. in Russian Studies from the University of Alabama, earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Russian Literature with a minor in French Literature, and worked as a Green Beret language instructor at Fort Bragg, NC. He received a B.A. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Spanish Literature and worked as a language teacher at the University of Alaska. Serge has worked as a poetry editor, house builder, pipefitter, orderly in a hospital, gardener, landscaper, driller for an assaying company, bartender in one of Fairbanks’ worst bars, among other jobs. He resided on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska for 15 years and recently moved to Bellingham, WA.