94" x 72"
Acrylic on wood panels and canvas
This painting was a monumental undertaking in terms of the scale (8 feet tall, six feet wide), the theme and the energy that was invested. Preparing the stretcher, stretching the canvas and preparing the wood panels took up the brunt of the time this piece demanded.
I was inspired by both Francis Bacon and Edvard Munch, albeit for two very different reasons; my interest in completing the painting (or at least the paint part of the painting) in one session, one moment came from Bacon. In fact, it worked out very well, and I couldn't have painted it at a better time. It was towards the end of the spring semester, and thus was during a very stressful period. I was filled with the angst and anxiety that I felt was necessary for the successful execution of this piece.
I was inspired by Edvard Munch, particularly The Scream, for his exploration of man's inner struggle; the silent scream of a tormented psyche, crying out in vain. For me, Self deals with acute issues of self-mutilation, eating disorders, addiction, and death. I attacked the wood panels with a fireman's axe in a fury of extroverted expression of my angst. The paint became the blood that I spilled and moved and accumulated into heaping forms, creating a violently visceral surface over the hacked wood.
Self was by far the largest piece I have done to date and it excited me immensely. Through the execution process I gained considerable knowledge about paint and my interests in painting; I definitely plan on continuing to create works on this scale in the future.