A Tribute to a Complicated Man

For the past month I have been working on an extremely laborious work of art that has genuinely pushed me physically and emotionally. Just to give a brief explanation of what it is: the work is a 5 foot by 4 foot canvas that I supported, and stretched by hand. Attached to the canvas are “lost” objects that I collected from the Boston streets that have been sewed and adhered to the surface using a paper glue that I make. Painted over all of this is a large portrait of my uncle who I mentioned a few posts ago. While the work started off as an experiment and light-hearted; it became a tribute to a very complicated man. The more that I thought about it; every object on the canvas related to memories that I have of the man now made of said objects. These memories come as happy, nostalgic, furious, embarrassed, and confused. As the paint covered and dried I grew curious of the image I created. It shows a man smiling in his favorite place on Earth. The sun shines through clouds from an opening on the top left in stark contrast from the grotesque darkness in the bottom right. I have to stress that when I create I have a “plan”; however, 80% of what is created comes subliminally or accidentally. When I see the image, I see a man who has had his evils but is fighting and pushing to find that peace that is seen in the light of the sun. Attached is the image of my work as it is now and maybe someone else will see something different. But it has captivated me and I hope it does the same for others.

Butch

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