Raven Wolf Gallery

An Online Gallery of Photography & Art

Alchemic Vanitas:

At the end, back to the beginning I fall.

To sleep, to sleep, to cease dreamlessly,

Beyond words or thoughts or rightist views,

to lie still in beautiful repose.

My vines now brittle, my fruit withered…

The fall of Death, to slumber, to cease…

Of Earth, rough hewn stones and butterfly bones.  

This series focuses on the theme of memory and myth as personalized through our own cultural experience. Using layers through digital montage, my work reflects the duality of life. This can be expressed through my combining of elements of beauty with those of loss, death or decay. Using both traditional and cultural images of symbolism to further the narrative creates imagery that speaks of dreams, personal mythology, and the human experience. Death is often present through such symbolism as bones, halos, marks of decay, scratches, skulls and branches all made to preserve the inevitability that all life is subject to the laws of mortality. The use of this symbolism is a direct reference to the 17th century Vanitas paintings. Incorporating the use of the halo harkens back to my early childhood training in Catholicism. The bones give reference to the idea of our temporal existence and opens up the discussion for the creation of iconic imagery that focuses on the vitality as well as the ending of life.  It is also a valid reminder of my Hispanic roots. Other cultural references are also used, such as Mesoamerican imagery and images of war from the 1910 – 1920 Mexican Revolution during the rein of my Great-Great Uncle, Pancho Villa of Mexico.