Land of Scars
The Land of Scars is the most personal and autobiographical artwork to date. Prior to starting this piece, images of Feathers and Flowers inspired by Egyptian Mythology drove an ongoing visual story where each chapter feeds from the previous work.
The ancient Egyptian’s believed that in order to get into Heaven, a lush Garden, at the end of your life, your heart was weighed against a feather and if it was lighter than the feather, you’d pass into a blissful afterlife full of vibrant flowers and vegetation (Aaru) but if you had a heavy or dark heart, you would not.
That idea of what happens to all the people with heavy hearts fills the imagination of the Artist and causes him to look at his own heart and contemplate all the people who have left a mark on him.
The research for the work led to the deserts, canyons and riverbeds of Utah, Arizona and Nevada, and days spent hiking in silence, absorbing the magic, the warmth and the whispering messages of the wind. Observing, touching, smelling, immersing, reshaped memories, emotions both forgotten and abandoned from many places inside, presenting an emotional diary made of multiple layers of history, layers and layers like the rock face of an epic canyon.
In those beautiful massive, eroded lands, weathered over millions of years, there is a history captured in thousands of stratified layers of the rock. This natural beauty impacted the concept and ultimately the construction of an image as the vision of this work evolved to display a stratification of a personal history and the weight found within memories and the heart.
This research trip forced the aesthetic of the art piece and merges the concept of a massive , majestic landscape detailing the complexity of weathered rocks as a way to communicate the stratification of time, weight, memories, strength, and life’s challenges. The canyons, gorges and cliffs provide a natural architecture to highlight and feature the key characters as the light finds their faces and bodies in the overhangs, rock faces, crags and fissures of a monumental escarpment of humanity while other masses of nudes related to thoughts and emotions are meld and merged like a lava flow connecting everything together.
There is an emotional intensity in exploring and looking back at the faces and memories of the people who have left their mark on you and it can feel as if many of those people are stuck in your mind, desiring to break free which this work conveys by contorted body positions and facial expressions as they attempt to break out of a shear rock face where they find themselves trapped.”
Breaking open the mythology of a heavy heart or a heart as cold as stone, gives the impetus to unflinchingly show a life’s worth of emotional scares as an historic concept. Ex-lovers, friends and family, were invited to pose for this intimate work, together with followers, fans and past models. This work puts the attention on the real marks in life, with faces, eyes and expressions, immortalizing on paper what is already imprint in the emotional soul.
Early in the process the Artist decided for the first time to include his own body, step in front of the camera and show not only the scars of his birth but that of a freak accident that broke his right Humorous bone in 2018.
Realizing this concept for the work also required both domestic and international travel to photograph and create the necessary material. Construction continued despite the Covid-19 Pandemic adding a complicating layer into the stratification of the rocks due to the unexpected factors of working remotely, coordinate with assistants remotely and document new people and missing models at a time when many people where not traveling. This world event forced unconventional ways of working due to health concerns and travel restrictions which also is part of the piece and part of this story.
The piece is 40’ long by 12’ high. This journey, sometimes was virtual, going around the world to meet and photograph the people from the past. Many of those people understandably have moved on emotionally and physically with their lives creating a more varied and dramatic perspective within the faces and story that is The Land of Scars.