A classic theme of our modern era. In the past you had your crucifixions, odalisques, cupids, men on horseback, bathers, ballerinas, depictions of heaven and hell, the Sphinx, Madonna and child, Venus, Leda and the Swan… Often one will hear the postmodern argument that nothing new can be said or depicted, my counter argument to which is: when was the cut-off point? Was it after Shakespeare but before Picasso? And hasn’t it already been said before that everything has been said before? I think there is an abundance of possible new imagery, approaches and techniques available to contemporary artists, and “painting” or “image making” is only as “dead” as one’s imagination. One only need to look to music, which is constantly evolving to answer the questions of whether it’s all been said and done before. Like the sustain on Nigel Tufnel’s guitar in Spinal Tap: “it just keeps goin’.”
So here you have a classic contemporary theme rich with graphic sensationalism, blood and gore, horror, humor, popular culture, conspiracy theory, and even the objectification of the alien “other”. In the wrong hands it’s an unbearable cliche, but I hoped to transcend the topic by infusing it with meaning and substance. Periodically I do internet searches for other’s depictions of the subject, but I humbly offer that my own treatment is the best one out there so far.
[Note: Exhaustively drawn with a tablet on the computer!]