Psychomachia – Battle of the Souls
PSYCHOMACHIA (meaning Battle of Souls) is the newest series done in collaboration with Arizona-based artist Jerry Portelli. This work reinterprets the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Holy Virtues in a series of 14 diptychs, one from each artist. The aesthetic theme is the sideshow freak from the circus and fairs of yesteryear–nature’s artwork, if you will.
We seek to honor the sideshow freak as the masque form of the very best and very worst of humanity, regardless of individual morality. This work is wrapped in a celebration of the possibilities of digital media and rejects the pervasive sort of embarassment of digital alteration in photography. The use of square canvases in Psychomachia is meant to echo the pixel of which all digital images is comprised.
The work is ongoing as of October, 2009. I have been sworn to keep the images under wraps until the show opens; however, I think the Clown God will let just a puzzle-piece of two works (see below) out of the bag just for you.
“For years I have used the clown mask as a means by which the ordinary becomes the extraordarinary. However, in the Psychomachia series, I
was able to use the clown mask as masque of the common in favor of the extraordinary spirit of the human condition via the sideshow freak of yesteryear — both real and imagined. The Seven Deadly Sins & Seven Holy Virtues simply add a layer of unexpected judgement of intent to the physical reality.”
—Jerry Portelli, the Clown God
“My work habit is to explore the physical reality of my reverence for human potential with ‘self as other’ as reoccurring content. The Psychomachia series, challenged me to not rely on facial expression. While every face is unique, humanity regardless of culture or language recognizes facial expression as the key to discovering the true soul. Limiting use of the face allowed me to further explore the physcial uniqueness upon which the Seven Deadly Sins & Seven Holy Virtues provide the crux of judgement allowing acceptance of the physical.”
—R.L. Gibson, the Xerographist