|48" x 144"|
|acrylic on canvas|
|Bering & James, Houston, Texas, Cinco, August 22 - September 25, 2009|
|Bering Art Collective, Houston, Texas, The History of Rock & Roll, October 9 - 30, 2010|
is a work that addresses the idea of creationism.
This work was created over a two year period between 2007 and 2009. I had been toying with the idea of creating a large scale painting for quite a while. At the time, I had just finished the genomic series and this idea had been formulating in my head for months.
Fortunately, I had just moved into a new studio space in an industrial building. I had a wall that would hold the entire canvas and give me plenty of room to move around and work. Since I was fortunate enough to have all this new space, I also began Turning Point at the same time. Two major scale paintings being painted in tandem!
The first order of business was to get the images that I needed. The central figure was going to be tricky. The image of an ten-armed figure was the central element so I decided that was the right place to start. I approached my friend Patrick Kroll who did installation work at the gallery and asked him if he would be interested in modeling for me. He agreed, and a week or so later he was at the studio ready to be photographed.
The day of the photo shoot was in December and the studio was incredibly cold. Nevertheless, Patrick got half naked and was incredibly patient as I shot multiple images of his arms in various positions. In the background of this image, you can actually see the canvas on the wall with the preliminary magenta sketch.
Once the images were taken, it was a matter of "sewing" all the arms together in a logical way. I wasn't interested in creating a literal recreation of a Shiva, but rather a loose interpretation. The merging of ten arms turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.
In addition to the overlapping arms, there was a tattoo on Patrick's right forearm that had to be removed and a bracelet on his left wrist that needed to vanish. You can see them both in the mockup above. Between his hands is a black square, in the original sketch this was going to be where an image of the sun was going to be added, but I decided later that a square in center of the work was distracting and didn't work well.
The center figure is
the starting point in this work. The multiple arms are a fairly
recognizable reference to the Hindu god Shiva. Shiva is an interesting
deity. There is a male Shiva, and a female Shiva. This work draws from
the idea of the "Shiva linga", or the meditative Shiva.