Dionysus. Oil on Canvas, 30 cm x 40 cm (approx. 12" x 16"), 2015.


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An anthropomorphic entity sets within grape leaves and rose buds.  It exists between the realms of terrestrial and alien, flora and fauna, fruitfulness and decay.  Its “heart” appears as a dark orifice reminiscent of a bony nasal septum, but fleshed over, blushed Merlot red with tissue–appearing almost vaginal.  The entity holds at its base another iteration of that same shape, but not as an orifice or void–more akin to polished, mounted stone.  Symbolically this creates a dualism along the vertical line of the body.

The head of this creature blends visual properties: sperm-like translucent orange seeds, dendritic pith, and citrus flesh.  It summarily results in a radial mandala characteristic of various enlightenment traditions–enhanced by its own independent illumination.  Its “brain” exists as the fruit of the body.

Weaving through grape leaves and taking on the quality of plant tendrils, this Dionysus holds two long cylinders.  The objects are distilled representations of the color palette of the painting itself, while also being reminiscent of the color striping of 80’s boys’ and men’s white socks.  As compositional tools, they contrast against the dense organic nature of the foreground and build a bridge into the background, where we notice sand and a falling beach fence flowing into the distance.

The two highly cylindrical objects also allude back to my painting “Phra Nang Farang”, both with respect to the beach ball in the scene, as well as the striated, colorful nature of the popsicle within that work.

Here, Dionysus is framed by fruitfulness despite some morbidity and darkness.  He sets within an ambrosia nearing the edge of fermentation–the chrysalis for wine.