Much of the world’s wisdom literature lays claim to divine inspiration. In some traditions, the messages are carved in stone, in others they are etched in gold, and in still others they are written down by the hand of a channeling messenger. In the series Untitled (Messages), each painting serves as a “tablet” that records the transformative or inspirational messages that I have received (from poets, novelists, songwriters and others). These messages guided me or elevated me at different points in the course of my existence, before being obscured by the vicissitudes and temptations of life and fading from consciousness.
Obscuring and coding these messages in my work (in this series and beyond) is a physical meditation on the way that we lose touch with our best selves and with the stream of wisdom that is always so close that we could reach out and touch it in any moment, if we could only bring ourselves to quieten our minds and shift our focus.
Untitled Message (Detail), 1997
Oil, charcoal, and oil pastel on paper
5 x 9 inches