I have drawn studies of various Aztec deities. I find these gods fascinating because they encompass benign, life-sustaining powers as well as forces of death and obliteration. I have represented life and death in the forms of black and white running horses which accompany the gods. In the Aztec world, the gods required human sacrifice to mollify their destructive desires.
The photography-based images of a centuries-old tomb-figure provide a humorous poke at the illegal counterfeiting of luxury goods so prevalent in China today.
The photographs and paintings in"O Colombia" feature strange-looking gold birds and masks, all of which are fashioned after pre-Columbian gold pieces now housed in the Gold Museum in Bogota. The gold pieces are remnants of societies governed by chiefs. Considered a sacred metal, gold once adorned political leaders and was used in offerings to placate the gods.
A friend and I went to Datong, China, a city west of Beijing, in the middle of a very poor coal-mining region. There, we visited sites of exceptional ancient craftsmanship and beauty, the Yungang Caves, filled with Buddhist carvings, and the Hanging Monastery, a centuries’ old building attached by poles high up against the walls of a cliff. These were impressive, but what impressed me the most about the region was the poor quality of life endured by the people of Datong.
These works depict an idyllic world bordering on a realm wherein spirits play and dance. Characters from the courtly world of Watteau stare at strange otherworldly beings; courtly lovers sit next to a circus ring of spirits whose gestures imitate theirs; a lady sits swinging while cupid flies chasing gold leaves. All appears peaceful and pleasant; however closer inspection of some of the paintings gives a feeling of gravity and collapse.