2013 has proven to be a very busy year. With so many workshops and a lot of traveling, I haven’t had many opportunities to get into a regular shooting schedule. There’s pro’s and con’s to this, but one advantage is feeling the freedom to get in the studio and just play. Without any concrete directions or thoughts on where to begin, it really opens up the possibility to make new discoveries and wild breakthroughs.
This image is from a recent shoot where we were really starting from scratch, and where I really felt like I could take a lot of risks and see what developed. The whole shoot was just fantastic, but I have to say I LOVE this image!
I feel like this image is really emotionally charged. The figure here is really suffering, he’s clearly in agony and we’re witnessing it. It’s a very active quality of pain, and very striking. There’s a heroic quality to his pain, maybe something like martyrdom?
The red portions of the figure read to me as very raw, like recent wounds, while the dark area in his chest feels like an old wound of some sort. The lighting and the colors in the shoulder and arm gie the impression of exposed tendons. The fist coming through the chest could be something punching out, something reaching out from within or bursting through, but I also don’t always see it a fist. Perhaps it is an exposed organ, maybe the heart?
There is something about the overall quality of agony here that makes the lines around the wrist and upper arm appear to be chains of some sort. It’s almost as if he is bound in a dark chamber somewhere. Or maybe this is an internal struggle- a psychic battle in some dark corner of the mind- and representative of something Karen Armstrong referred to as the labyrinth of the mind….
All that said, I find the face here just INCREDIBLE. There is subtle but clear smears of red over his eyes, and to me it gives an immediate feeling of blindness. Perhaps he is nearly blind, or blinded by blood. Seeing his blindness adds to the overall tragedy of the suffering he is experiencing, bound and body falling apart…
So much of the color work I’ve done shooting with the mirrors has had classical religious qualities to them, specifically reminding me of Christian iconography. This image, however, goes back to a more mythological feeling for me. Prometheus, who is credited with giving man the gift of fire, was punished for doing so by being bound to a rock where every day an eagle would tear out and feed on his liver, only to have it grow back to be eaten again, day after day. The bound quality of the figure in this image, the body falling apart, the raw flesh, the clear agony and obvious suffering, even the fist reading as an exposed organ, all remind me of the torture of Prometheus.
This is a well known sculpture of Prometheus by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam, housed at the Louvre in France: