Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The Final Drawings in the year of Our Lord; 2010
The first of drawing of the final two projects is "The Scars Throughout, Within". This piece has been fine tuned over the past, ten or so, odd years. It started with an etching of a man caught in a sort of brick back drop, or field. A completely subconscious thought during an early attempt at a polished narrative. I ended up drawing that figure several times within the course of a few years. I sold a bright tube colored painting of it, and even bequeathed the colored pencil rendering of the piece to the buyer. I have many ties with the figure. It is an abstraction of self, and there are many ties, and layers that become more and more apparent when an artists decides to use themselves as subject matter that bubble up from inside. The fetal position is a re-occurring theme in my work, and the ties to it are before I awoke to my own awareness. I was a breach birth, that is when I was born I came out backwards, bottom first, with the umbilical cord around my neck. They had to put me in an incubation chamber and a tube was inserted into the side of my chest to inflate my lung, which had collapsed while still in-utero. The cords that suspend the fetal figure are intended to be interpreted as bonds, or chains, in the form of veins. This shows that the figures biological make up is the very thing that keeps him caught in his current form of stasis. I had not noticed until today that the vein leading out of his side is the same place as the scar on my side from when I was an infant. Others then raised an interesting point of correlation to the Christ as well. Pre-natal resuscitation has some interesting historical, and anthropological correlations given our current point of evolution. The composition, however is meant to be viewed as if the light source were emulating form the page, around the figure, showing the dynamics of collapse, and stoic suspension, not the birth of a half dead psuedo-christ. I also was striving for clean and crisp lines, and a simplification of my drawing process to negate the sketchiness that is common in a lot of work. If I were to change anything I would perhaps go over the piece once more with some softer graphite to give the piece more definition and even more clarity. It is odd that a fetal figure stays half animated while a seated figure is automatically associated with being at ease in world of the living. That is why my second piece "Delirium Tremens" is created with charcoal an ink, as well as pencil; as to give the piece a hierarchy, and punch that has impact synonymous with the subject itself. I also wanted a mirror to the other piece to represent a dark symbiotic relationship between the two pieces. They were not meant to be viewed together as a single piece by any means, but as the artist it is apparent that they were created in the same time span.
Delirium Tremens is the shakes. When a person becomes an alcoholic their body becomes dependent upon alcohol, as well as being poisoned by it, the truth behind any addiction. Delirium Tremens are the tremors that run through poisoned veins causing the hand to shake uncontrollably. I have had struggles with alcoholism in the past, and given the recent developments on campus I thought now would be a good time to make the statement. It is a statement of fear, exhaust, and self inflicted helplessness. The man seated cannot get up, cannot leave his room, and cannot even hold a glass anymore. His face is distinguished by a shadow of a death mask, and he is half naked. I wanted to utilize an ink wash over the charcoal to give a bleeding aesthetic, like the pouring of an empty bottle. A visual synecdoche that would help translate the piece in the visual language of mark making, causing those made marks to blur and distort. The choice of charcoal for media was intentional, for a bit of grittiness that I wanted the composition to hold in its design. The ink also unifies the page, lending to the sense of chiaroscuro in an off kilter manner in order to heighten the "delirium". It is personal, as well as comprehensive, and a piece that, in essence, is "on time".