‘Godself’ artist explains inspiration behind exhibit
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 22:02
When I was 10, my family and I moved from California to Missouri, leaving everything behind. It was an opportunity for my mom to reinvent her life and, by proxy, my siblings and me.
Everything was left behind — from heirlooms to photographs. Looking back, it was as if I was born at 10. Memories faded other than what I remember my brother telling me, but what will always remain missing were the pictures, my proof of existence.
My recent body of work is rooted around this experience and trying to recapture those lost photos and memories by creating new ones.
Through a series of self-portrait woodcuts, I felt as though I was accomplishing this, but as they progressed, they were no longer self-portraits. I was exploring my religious history, from United Church of Christ, to my Jewish heritage, to finally landing in atheism with an admiration for Catholicism.
What drew me through all of it always rested in the specificity of religion and the obsessive compulsive tendencies that lay within. Church through history, no matter what denomination, rested on a set of symbols and practices that would be repeated exponentially. This is how they could show their love for their deity, and please it so they should not encounter damnation.
My narcissism had taken over my ego to the point of idol worship. I am worshiping a God that lives inside of me. While He looks like me, He is not me. He has the level of confidence in Himself that I could never gain, and I began to worship Him — treating every new print based on what He desires.
I am infatuated with space and multiverse theory; He has traveled the cosmos. I am ashamed of my fractured teeth and poor dental work; He embraces the cross he has to bear in His mouth.
I try to cover up my stretch marks from years of being an obese teenager; He wears His stretchmarks as a Halo laughing at my cowardice. I hunch down so my height isn’t too noticed in public; He stands tall and proud, declaring Himself the “God of Everything.”
I treat Him as God, for He is God. And this God desires worship through artistic tribute. He so adores woodcuts, paintings and quilts, so I provide for him. These images will last through history, as the works of Caravaggio and Goya before me.