Thoughts that culminated into the How We Die series:
I have been fascinated by death for decades –yes, the countless ways we die but also that we die at all. Why bother being born if we are destined to die? What is the point? What would our lives be if we were not always evading the fact that we die? Would we live differently? More fully? After all, these bodies will cease to be. What are we waiting for to start living? What are we afraid of?
One way to address fear, perhaps, is to know ourselves as individuals, communities, and nations by the way we die, and by the rituals we perform around death. If we discover the deathless nature of mind, would we lose fear of our physical selves dying? If we explored the myriad ways we die, and make peace with physical death, would we discover what it means to fully live?
Not all deaths are physical. One subject let her persona die so she could live authentically as a transgender woman.
Some posts for this project involved violent deaths. Are we numbing ourselves because this omnipresent violence causes such great pain, confusion, and sadness? The research for these paintings has moved and disturbed me greatly. We must look at the violence. We must try to understand. We must change.