Above: “Awareness of Death”
(Oil and gilding wax on canvas)
How fluid we are.
How changeable we are,
Life’s path is not set in stone, but in water.
When I studied abroad in Lacoste, France in Fall 2014, I created a series of paintings that later became known as my “Water Series.” Essentially, I sought to represent the divinity of humanity by reflecting the inner image of oneself back to the viewer. This discourse naturally lead to the distinction between what a god is and what man is. In man’s view, a god is essentially an immortal being with the power to create and destroy, taking all religion aside and putting these primal concepts as faceless as possible. Therefore man is basically an “anti-god” who will die yet still can mimic creation and destruction, but cannot achieve it. This thought reminded me of how water will reflect the objects on the surface and distort and change them, based on the energy that is currently rippling through the surface of the water and the angle of viewing. The water will mimic the image and attempt to change the object and will visibly, but the object itself that it is reflecting will remain unchanged. The water itself changes and moves on a very different timeframe than the objects around, so to the water, the stones are immortal and have created a path for the river to move through, ushering in its ability to exist. I likened this relationship to the humankind and the universe surrounding us. So it would seem that the fleeting certainty in the divine is what makes us human — the fleeting certainty of our own changeability is what makes us water. The paintings themselves incorporate a golden gilding wax juxtaposed with oil paint. This difference of mediums illustrates our own world interspersed with both human and divine nuances demanding equal attention and thought.