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Pursuit of the Erinyes
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From the suite of paintings based on the Orestes Trilogy
I believe we are storytellers by nature. It takes stories to make us human; it takes stories to keep us human. We have always looked to the stars and created heroes and myths, stood before the ocean and interpreted its mysteries to make gods and monsters. I tell stories with gesture and form, surface and texture, in an attempt to convey that same sense of awe and wonder. I want people to find their own meaningfulness in my paintings rather than be concerned about meaning. In this way, we are sharing stories; discovering what makes us truly human.
The story of the house Atreus is literally a story of the fates ripping a family apart. It’s not an accurate biographical portrait of my situation, but the themes fascinated me and felt relevant. I began to think about the story from a father’s perspective. What is wonderful about myth is its ability to be relevant to other times and places and cultures. I would love to see this story told through a feminist lens from the point of view of Climenstria; but that story is not mine to tell.
I wanted to explore the relationships. The daughter that dies and is swept away by the divine female energy. A warrior father on the shores of destiny. The son who must supplant his mother and her husband in order to fulfill his own path. The horror and the beauty of family in all its complexity and dysfunction, writ large.
Because my work is not literal, I cannot in good conscience tell a story that way. Rather, I give suggestions; poems rather than prose, and images rather than words. I don’t know if I’ve retold the story or not, but I know I took a journey by attempting to do so. I only knew I had to try. In many ways, I made this body of work for myself. Maybe, when someone encounters these images, they too will have a journey.