This is the end. Not of the book of Romans, but of my drawing. I ended it in chapter 11 whereas the actual book has 16 chapters. What’s the matter Clark, did you get lazy? Did you run out of paper for your scrawling? I didn’t get lazy, but I did run out of paper! But that’s not why I stopped in chapter 11. I’ll tell you why in a minute.
First, let’s deal briefly with what’s going on. My official, super MFA Advisory Inquisitorial Committee asked me several times what I was trying to do with this drawing. That was a difficult question for me because I really wasn’t sure. They asked if I was trying to proselytize. I settled on the idea that in addition to everyone else who looks at the work, the artist is also part of the audience. So I put myself in there listening to the campus preacher… who is also me. the idea is that I am “preaching” to myself. That I need conversion as much as anyone.
(And here’s a bonus for those of you who attended the University of Florida, the building in the background is Turlington Hall. For clarity’s sake I opted not to put in the gigantic rock that looks like a monstrous baked potato – I regret this now. Anywho, Turlington Hall is a sort of crossroads on UF’s campus and a lot of the campus preachers would harangue the crowds there. Or at least they did 10 to 15 years ago. I have no idea if they still do.)
That weird snake-y vine is a stand-in for the olive tree that St. Paul actually talks about. I took artistic license here and grafted branches onto a vine instead of the olive tree since I needed a visual element to link to the very last section of the drawing.
This last part is where I thought there was a nice symmetry with the beginning of the drawing. If the opening of Romans begins with a warning to everyone, then chapter 11 issues a warning to those in the Church. So I decided to end it here, where the end was a refined restatement of the beginning.
|Here I am, talking to myself.|
There are also a series of 8 hand-colored etchings that go with this drawing (my MFA is in printmaking after all), but I don’t have scans of them. They take elements of the drawing and “explain” them by quoting specific passages of Romans.
This is my MFA thesis in a nutshell. I have opted not to try to explain everything, partially because I have shifted views slightly here and there and also because there are exceedingly few things in the world more tedious than reading the decoder key to artwork. This is a picture meant to be looked at, not read about.