The golden-fielded mummies arose from my initial inquiry in grad school at NYU in Venice into the duecento, trecento, and quattrocento retables, found in Italy and most of the rest of Europe. At first I tried to do figures on a gold ground. I thought the only way to learn to appreciate them was to try to do them. Coming from years of stained canvases I developed the mummies as a way of putting the texture of empty canvas with the texture of gold paint. I found the “minimal sculpture” of canvas texture counterpoised against paint a thrilling new experience. I put away some preconceptions about the way the world is. I didn’t know that that’s what I was doing at the time, I thought I was progressing from the stained-canvas-compulsion that had motivated my work for a few years. I was doing that but I was also burying so many preconceptions about life, Church, sexuality, love, prayer, politics, divinity, intercession, devotion, etc. The mummies eventually gave way to the golden shadow paintings, but I love those mummies; they liberated me from a lot of death in the multitude of things I thought were necessary consequences of my Faith. I found something deeper, still in the Shadows and later find that I can see God in so many new places.
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