Paradise Lost

Just in time for the end of 2018, I finally finished this painting. It only took me 7 years. Seriously, I first started adding paint to this canvas back in 2011. For a long time it was just an unfinished black and white abstract underpainting with no real personality or direction.

I’ve been picking at it slowly over the course of this year and it really started blooming after I came home from a trip to Maui in September where I was inspired by all the lush vegetation and passionate volcanic energy.

The whole thing has kind of a tropical apocalyptic vibe and themes of destruction and miraculous survival in nature are implied. The title refers to this idea of natural catastrophe and subsequent growth. It also references (among other things) the life of artist and magician Damien Echols, who I saw speak on his book tour while I was painting this. In my mind, Echols is a figure representing the triumph of art and magic over oppression. I guess the subtext of this painting is hope in the face of environmental destruction, or life emerging victorious in spite of calamitous hostility.

(Size: 36 x 48)

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