Memento Mori

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

-Marcus Aurelius

ThreeSkulls4

Memento Mori is a Latin phrase meaning, more or less, “remember you’re going to die.” Though it’s been used since the 5th century to call into question the vanity of earthy life, and to realign focus on the Christian afterlife, I’m referring to it here in a different way, offering a different kind of immortality. To contemplate death for a best possible life here and now – remembering oblivion’s unavoidable approach and letting petty concerns fall away, choosing to be guided instead by desire and self-realization – all in order to live well and to gauge our realization of a fulfilling life by asking ourselves if we’d be willing to accept our own immortality, our own life relived for eternity by us without any changes. Asking this is daunting but also promising; we’re forced to face whatever boredom, lack, or horror has come before and to justify its return by affirming henceforth a life so fulfilling that no prior misfortune would scare us from saying yes to our own immortality.

I recently finished three new drawings for a small show in Asheville, using a mix of color pencil, chalk, and water color for each 22×30″ piece. These drawings were the result of merging two different bodies of work: the series of echoed figures combined with the series of skull paintings. I kept the skull unrepeated – static – in each image, wanting to suggest that the repeated moving figure represent life and the unmoving skull represent death in its stillness.

I’m showing them at Izzy’s in downtown Asheville.  Though only a cafe and by far not the best of all places to propel my career Izzy’s has proven to make me more money than the actual galleries of Asheville. It’s also a venue where the staff and owner are artists, musicians and people of all around good taste that create a wonderful environment to be in and display this new work for both visitors and a large community of local makers that frequent the cafe.

The show will be up for the month of June, if you have any questions or thoughts I’d be happy to meet with you there.  Thanks for reading!

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