Can These Bones Live?
The Science Department at my old high school was kind enough to let me borrow their full skeleton model one weekend. I laid out "Charlie," as we called him, on our dining room table and photographed him with my studio lighting. I had previously sketched an imaginary scene of a single butterfly flitting through a cavernous rib cage, emanating light and casting radial shadows. The reference photos helped greatly for anatomical accuracy, and to see where the light and shadows would fall on the three dimensional form. The Old Testament, known as the Tanakh to Jewish people, relays an unusual episode of the prophet Ezekiel’s vision, called The Valley of Dry Bones [i]. I approached my painting as a modern interpretation, seeing the Monarch Butterfly as symbolic of breathing new life into these bones. This painting is a precursor to a larger work I have planned, which will bring clarity to this initial macabre piece and further develop the theme of resurrection.
[i] Ezekiel 37:1-14