Acrylic, Chalk Pastel and Fear on Paper

The point is not to frighten people with ideas or images. Fear is an interpretation of what is. Truth is. Absolutes have no agenda. In the context of our constructs light can be manipulated to cast shadows of anything. I’d painted a variation in high school after realizing I’d grown fur and was finding beautifully toxic inspiration in the pages of Harpers Bazaar. It was the late 90’s; rib cages were an accessory. Body parts have always been evolving fashion statements; clubbed feet, cinched waists, exposed vertebrae. Different deformations, same sentiment.

The original reproduction had an emphatic stomp and white stole; unconsciously confrontational, like a Velociraptor in Valentino. Spending the afternoon writing beside her she revealed the clutch of ego, status, distrust, cultural highjacking and a fear-filled blind justification of the ways we deny ourselves and each other. Allow me to hurt myself for you. Allow me to hurt yourself for me. No one needs a twenty carrot, two million dollar finger bling. The vegetable reference is always intentional. Less deadly, edible and often found hanging from a stick. To which the disciples of Harry Winston might say ‘woah, woah man cannot live on beta carotene alone.’ 

We say it’s a need, our hunger and  dutiful pursuit of labels. Definitions to provide us with identity, boundaries, belonging, safety.  Symbols riding vehicles of ascending objectification to new heights of seen and unseen, all in an attempt to shine light on anything but what we perceive as threats of death. Lord hear our prayer. 

Wherever you are on the yellow brick runway, be loved. -xo

From my devotion this morning: 

I see them as beings of light, guided by divine inner wisdom, glowing with life and energy, gratefully greeting each day with a spirit of love and peace. I know this Truth for them: They are greater than any challenge they may be facing.-Daily Word

16 thoughts on “The Scream

  1. I’ve looked at this about 10 times and still cannot find the words to comment that would fit how it makes me feel. The talent you possess with your words and paint is just beyond moving. I just…am speechless really.

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  2. Love love love the painting. My husband, who appreciates art, was saying, “Ah, expressionism!” when he saw it. Isn’t it interesting how sometimes a picture can convey on a visceral level, and on other levels, what words can’t quite reach? Maybe show this to people who want to understand why anyone would get anorexia, who say, “But can’t you just decide to eat? But isn’t it all just attention-getting behaviour?” That latter idea I find particularly ironic as many people with anorexia have said they actually are trying to be invisible. It’s probably not the same for everyone, but I think your painting would speak to so many people who have ended up with an eating disorder. It’s something about the root cause – the pain and the insanity of this world, or the human realm of it anyway – that comes through so much in your depiction. I think Munch would have loved your version.

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    • Hi Sophie. Thanks! Yes it’s true many of us who starve are trying to become invisible. This woman represents more than a run of the mill starving woman; she’s the hunger of all consumptions for many women. I’m so bummed that I lost my first version; she was leaning forward, the path was dirt and not a runway and she was screaming as if crying and trapped. All this to say my skeleton woman may have a twin or two. Thanks as always for sharing your thoughts.

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      • Yeah, I got that it wasn’t specifically about anorexia, but it also covered that so well. And all the other stuff that’s so common now, that you’re mentioning above. The best art does that – speak on multiple levels at the same time! I do agree that your piece should be in a National Art Gallery. If you can bear to part with your baby! ๐Ÿ˜‰ At least, prints should be made for wide distribution. Are there any art prizes you can enter this in? Proper art prizes, not the local agricultural show? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      • Backflip into a hug. Haha. You’re so sweet Sophie. Thanks. Actually a man named Dr. John King who writes and speaks on PTSD liked this piece and asked about having me do some paintings for a book of poems he’s writing. That felt nice. Some art I’m ok with gifting and letting go, most of it really. Only in the past few years have I painted things I like to live with. Im guessing that’s a good sign? Do you make art?

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    • Thanks Seattle ๐Ÿ˜‰ I agree that art should be helpful and invite us to think and feel. Happy to check out your work as well. Thanks again for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

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