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Self-pitying little whimpers

Originally published Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Me at Gallery 110

Photo by Chris White

"Self-pitying little whimpers."  This was the summary statement of my review in the Stranger.  I always figured that although they might not of liked it, they at least got my point.  The show was a series of nine paintings looking at how too much self absorbed introspection can be harmful.

 

Alone

"Alone" is about the feeling that someone can feel totally isolated even in a crowded room.  The central figure has two shadows, one for his perspective and one for the truth he is blind towards.

Original Sketch

Original Sketch

Impossible Standards

"Impossible Standards" is how there is a cultural standard for beauty or even normalcy. This is a continually moving target, growing and fading with trends and fads leaving devastated and ruined people who couldn't fit the mold. Truth is no one fits this ideal, and we shouldn't compare ourselves to others to find our own worth or beauty.

Original Sketch

Original Sketch

Working Sketch

Working Sketch

 

Self Sighted

Self Sighted Sketch

Self Sighted Sketch

"Self Sighted" is the natural progression from the "Impossible Standard"  In the figure's eyes he sees himself as this distorted mutant of a man. Too tall, too gaunt in some areas, too fat in other areas, and totally disproportionated.

 

Butt of the Great Cosmic Joke

 

My Own Personal Hell

"My Own Personal Hell" was originally meant to be "Butt of the Great Cosmic Joke".  It got to this point and I realized it was done, so I began the cosmic joke again.  They are both continuing the progression of the figure.  Seeing himself as a monster he feels that everyone he sees is laughing at him.  The personal hell is the internalization of his pain.

 

Torn and Tattered Heart

Original Sketch

Original Sketch

"Torn and Tattered Heart" is the representation of the devastation of a soul.  I reevaluated the piece as I was laying this one out and decided to use the imagery from a "Sacred Heart of Christ" card.  As opposed to the Christ who held out his pure heart for the world I showed the figure trying to hide and protect his mangled heart from the world.

 

Too Tied Up

Tied Up Sketch

Tied Up Sketch

This one was a huge struggle for me to represent, and I'm still not too excited with the resulting image. The figure is wrapped in a straight jacket being crushed by a cross. The idea was that there is a perception that Christianity is too oppressive to offer any hope to the terminally depressed.

 

Final Act

This was the first one of the series I painted, setting the tone and overall imagery for the rest.

 

New Born

"New Born" is my alternate ending.  The figurative man, letting go of his pain could decide to start over into a bright new day.  Simplistic ending, maybe, but I've found that it really is a matter of just deciding each day.

So yes these are "self pitying little whimpers", but they were quite cathartic for me to do. I had hoped, and still hope, that they could be useful to others as well.