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Friday, October 7, 2016

Taking another bite at Cranach the elder

Here are a  few paintings from a series I did a few years ago. Not knowing I was related to Cranach, I used his versions of Adam and Eve and embedded them into the paper made from cooked apples, branches and leaves with the shredded khaki pants of my sons and then I sewed collage elements into the composition.
There was a time element at play. Embedded photos had to bleed through the layers of the paper to give a ghostly presence.

Bits and pieces of apple tree were left inside the paper sandwich to eventually stain the surfacees.
Funny, how at the time I was obsessed with the Genesis story of all consuming curiosity and how now I am mulling over the violent and remorseless beheading of an enemy in the Judith story. What does that say about me? Or about my great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather? He was a good businessman and painted for money. Once the church became embroiled in fractious doctrines, and there was a rise in iconoclasts who destroyed many of the artworks in the church, Cranach had to diversify. The portraits of Judith were made by Cranach for private patrons and carried private symbolism. I think my own Adam and Eve series calmed my anxiety about my failing marriage and helped me literally layer my own history into a genesis story of my own. The Judith beheadings baffle me. I am interested in the opulent fashion statements in each painting... and the soft self reflecting smiles of the slicing murderesses. I don't think the paintings I am doing are any good for me. They kind of give me an upset stomach.
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