My submission for this collection is based on my own twist of religious art from the classical Italian canon. I enjoy the reoccurring forms of it, and sought to transform a certain image, the pieta, into a narrative element that still played an important role in the story of christ’s crucifixion, but was applicable to a different period of the story from it’s original purpose. Instead of Mary holding her deceased son, God sits in a flowing robe, with his stomach forming Christ’s tomb, and he aid’s him in resurrection.
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After listening to the St. Matthew Passion, I was struck with the feeling of exalted emotion as well and gained an adoration for the music. Referencing Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa, I depicted how I felt while listening to the music with the concept of pain and suffering being translated into beauty.
My inspiration for this piece was the brutality of the story of the Passion, and the use of very provocative imagery and wording in the translation of St. Matthew Passion. In this piece I decided to portray the purple robes and the crown of thorns that Christ wore and the mockery of calling him the "King of the Jews." I hoped to capture the brutality of the act and the pain that Christ endured.
I chose to depict Christ traditionally on the cross, between two thieves, amidst a coming storm. As the storm approaches it absorbs the remaining energy that he possesses.
My concept for the Bach piece revolves around the meaning of passion. I was interested in the fact that passion can be defined as love or suffering, but what I realized is that both meanings actually co-exist like a yin and yang effect. So with that in mind, I created this piece using human forms as symbols for love and suffering. The women represent love, and the man represent the suffering. I wanted to marry the two meanings by connecting the figures and by doing so, i painted one woman figure touching the suffering man. With that one touch, the man wakes up from his suffering, and is being brought back to life. When I feel passion, I feel like this man that I've painted...truly awakened.
* Selected to be displayed in Symphony Hall during Bach St. Matthew Passion concerts March 30 and April 1, 2012.