Artist Statement for Portraits (Tormenta Series)
“The Unbearable Lightness of Being”
– Milan Kundra
I find inspiration in “the Unbearable Lightness of Being.” It presents the madness and consumptive elements of being in love. Like Shakespeare’s Ophelia in his play, “Hamlet,” obsessive love may take one’s life.
Life is a matter of choices; false decisions can be fatal. We must learn to live with an accept the vagaries of existence; these vagaries may take a life, as happened with the mad, beautiful Ophelia.
In my series, Ophelia has emerged after drowning, resplendent in butterflies, which celebrate her worldly life and the afterlife, where she was born without madness. She has been freed from the tyranny of Hamlet and his love.
artist statement for Runway Series
“The flower had the appearance of being looked at”
– paraphrased from T.S. Eliot’s The Four Quartets, “the rose/Had the look of flowers that are looked at”
I am mesmerized by the metaphorical portrayal of the flower in Le Petit Prince. This creature, the Observed, is in no hurry to display herself to the world’s Observer until she looks her stunning best. Like a runway model, she guards her beauty with a careful hand and a critical eye. As Antoine De Saint-Exupery wrote, “…the flower was not satisfied to complete the preparations for her beauty in the shelter of her green chamber. She chose her colours with the greatest care. She dressed herself slowly. She adjusted her petals one by one. She did not want to go out into the world all rumpled, like the field poppies. It was only in the full radiance of her beauty that she wished to appear.” Then she casts her fragrance and breathtaking radiance over her audience for the observers to relish.
In my paintings, the Observers – the modern-day Paparazzi who photograph their subjects in the audience of a runway show – do not appear literally: they are symbolized by the blazing “lens flare” circles that emanate from the corner of the canvas, toward their subject.