Ever since my old English teacher psychoanalyzed a piece of my artwork back in highschool I've had a keen interest in understanding why I've made something, even beyond my initial reasoning. I often create work based on instinct. Ideas tend to linger in my head for a while before I create work from them, and even then I sometimes don't fully understand why until long after I've completed them.
These two oil paintings, 'Recursion' and 'Invocation' were both part of 'The Inscending Spiral' series which was largely about drawing comparisons between the diametrically opposed worlds of esoteric spiritual practices and the superficial world of Hollywood.
Early on I was drawn to images of people wearing sunglasses, seemingly cutting themselves off from their environment. I was unsure why this resonated with me, with regards to deeper spiritual ideas, until I started composing these two paintings. I slowly realised that the withdrawing from the external world and the visual sense of them merging with their environment was analogous to experiences I'd had during my meditation practice.
In 'Invocation' the woman is almost a shadow, suffused by the surrounding colour of the molten sunset behind and disappearing into the darkness below. In 'Recursion' it is uncertain as to whether she is real or merely a reflection. As with my 'Head Shot' series, made around the same time, the sense of where the figure begins and the environment around her ends isn't quite defined.
The 'windows to their souls' are blocked from view, instead the sunglasses simply act as mirrors to their environment. All they seem to have become is an empty surface. But as philosopher Gilles Deleuze wrote about, with regards to 'the fold', the surface although seemingly empty of meaning is in fact a direct expression of deeper truths...
“The outside is not a fixed limit but a moving matter animated by peristaltic movements, folds and foldings that together make up an inside: they are not something other than the outside, but precisely the inside of the outside.”