These watercolors aim to capture the prevalence of death and decay in our daily lives, but also show how even now, we blend it into the background, not wanting to look. Halloween and fantasy help us come to terms with death being all around us by letting us engage with the frightening and alien on our own terms, giving us a sense of control over our loss of control. Additionally, Halloween’s creative side reminds us that death and decay provide opportunities for new growth and life.
In this living state of existence, we are constantly faced with the inevitability of death, although our self-preservation instincts may try to avoid the topic until its inevitability becomes unavoidable. Memories fade and evolve, and we must ponder that which is lost or forgotten as much as that which is remembered.
The following illustrations tell the story of the odd and isolated. Those of us who enjoy spending time with nothing but ourselves as we admire all parts of nature, such as beautiful landscapes and the clouds in the sky, experience reality differently than those whose days are filled with to-do lists, deadlines, and other people. Finding peace and relief from the frustrations of the real world is necessary every once in a while, and can entail travelling into a zone of enlightenment to the point at which we start to see the surreal. The following illustrations intend to show the power of taking time to experience the earth and one’s self.
Have we lost sight of what is important, as a civilization? Is the world out of alignment with principles that matter? Missing children, an increasing COVID-19 death rate, and constant ethical dilemmas associated with our socially complex world make us wonder: can we, as a species, come to an agreement on anything?
The following sculptures incorporate surrealistic, mythological and magical imagery — often with whimsical overtones — aimed at provoking our experiences and self-reflections. Intending to unbalance our rational minds, the predominant imagery deals mostly with facial expressions of both living and “non-living” beings, and things that speak to us in their own languages. They are textural, metallic and mixed media assemblages that have been assembled, disassembled and reassembled, becoming abstractions unto themselves.
How are the current conditions affecting us? The fear of catching Covid-19, the fear of spreading it. The political turmoil in the United States and what feels like an impasse in communication, in discourse. How are the restrictions and isolation affecting our mental health? Sometimes, we need to look backward in order to move forward. The following photo essay takes us through this time unknown.
Is selfishness prioritizing the individual the root cause of the United States’ current divide? Is lack of belief in social equality holding the US back? Whether these traits can be entirely blamed for our current political climate or not, it can be argued a nation needs a mix of collectivist and individualistic ideals to achieve both social equality and freedom for all.
As a condition of being human, has our own mortality prepared us for the reality of a global pandemic? Under normal conditions, dealing with death is difficult enough, but how do we grapple with being in a state of uncertainty where our safety and health is constantly in question? How much autonomy, free will, and control do we have? Can religion save us? Can science?
DISCLAIMER: The following artworks feature sexual content.
All human societies are well acquainted with unnecessary violence — but can we change this? Are the conditions under which humans live such that unnecessary violence is an integral feature of our human nature? At what level (e.g. individual, societal, national) do changes need to take place to rectify our fatal human flaw of pathological violence?
DISCLAIMER: The following artworks feature violence and sexual content.