It may not be a fun question, but let me ask you quickly:
What is the most valuable thing that someone can steal from you?
Your signifigant other? Your children? Your pet? An heirloom? Your savings? Your mobility? ...Your iPhone?
What would you do if you lost all your memories?
This was the inspiration behind my most recent painting, The Memory Thief, which I produced for Gallery Abyss' 12x12 group show. I would like to tell you about it.
The character in the lower left corner is a memory thief and a cerebral menace.
He breaks into the subconscious of the elderly whose aging immune system can no longer combat his advances. He steals their memories and sells the information. You may notice, he doesn't actually touch the memories encased in his lock box - doing so would infect and alter them. I also theorized that the more fond the memory, the more vibrant glow it emits as seen in the trail of his exit.
Sadly, the repercussions of his larceny are devastating. His victims are ushered into a state of dementia.
I know it is not a fun painting... and is harder to place in a room than a basket of flowers, so why would I paint such a melancholy image to begin with?
Well, the goal with my art has always been to connect with others in an honest manner. To create and present you with things I'm not invested in is disingenuous and unworthy of your attention.
As I now watch some people in my life I care about very much undergo memory loss, it's made me search for reasoning. When none can be found, alternative narrations are sought (like the one theorized above).
I guess in some way I am hoping you will find something relateable. Maybe found in one of your own memories. Hang on to them.
As an artist, you always hope that your work will resonate with people. But you really don't know unless someone goes out of their way to inform you. I received the E-mail below in response to the latest newsletter I sent out prior to the 12x12 opening last night. The facebook message was sent to me by a friend after I released the image online. (Some of the information has been withheld to retain their privacy.)
The painting is no longer available - it SOLD opening night. You can find more info about the exhibit and see some of the works available here.