|The Grin of Death|
|Skull Bombs Overhead|
|I Drink of the Beaten|
Inspired by the custom of decapitating an enemy,
Breaking open their skull and drinking from it as a cup.
Byron famously wrote a poem on such.
|'Death Looks Gigantically Down'.|
The title is a quote from a line of Edgar AlanPoe.
The ace of spades, symbolising death, is analogous to the Death card of the Tarot deck [which just happens to be number XIII].
The spade is a sword, in actual fact.
In this picture I used two mirrors to make the profile drawing of myself.
I have resisted doing this before as one no longer makes direct gaze with oneself.
And this self-portrait project has been very much about the 'gaze'. However, even in profile the gaze is apparent in all its intensity and so this may be the first of various self portraits using the profile.
As happens so often in my drawing, the line starts to take on a life of its own and begins to flow - with just a hint of abstraction - in an almost a topographic fashion; hence the title of this drawing.
The medium is white pencil, white pastel pencil, grey Aquatint pencil and white chinagraph pencil on smooth black paper. I am tending to favour the white pencil [by Caran d'Ache] for most of the drawing, using the others for any highlighting or blending etc.
The key in these drawings is to keep things as simple as possible, as the Spirits prefer open spaces.
|Owner of the Void|
The title is from one of my own poems I posted elsewhere on this blog last year, I think.
The symbolism here is elusive. Essentially though, it probes the futility of ownership so vaunted by some living beings.
So it is a vanitas picture.
It points to the torturous and sado masochisitic relation between self and others.
It also makes a point about the relative nature of existence where ultimately the Void outlives and owns us all. It is also a visual reference to Diogenes in his tub.
Freedom is in poverty.
I Mourn the Pangs of Pan's Bitter Sweet Passing
In this picture, the self portrait element has become like a glyph, a symbol - a hieroglyph, if you like.
While the skull element here is becoming more like a 'still life' - 'Vanitas'. 'Vanitas' meaning 'emptiness' - the pessimistic expression behind such still lifes. Here I mourn the slow death [hence pangs] of the god of intoxication. Gods take centuries, even milleninia, to die, and so to live through their death throes is simply chronic.
But death is part of the mythos of this god too! [Hence 'bitter sweet']
He dies to return, eternally.
The self portrait has taken on the aspect of the mask, and indeed the mask begins to appear in subsequent self portraits.