Conversation (2022)

“Behind him was a great expanse of shimmering, many-colored feathers, which appeared to be part of a cloak that appeared to be part of him, but was not wings that sprouted in any conventional way from shoulder blade or spine.” ( from “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A. S. Byatt)

This image began with a sketch I made many years ago, when I lived in New Orleans. Thanks to my model, Mychole, who posed for the figure on the right, I was able to develop this idea further, into a painted meditation on Love and Death. Both the female and the male figures are humanlike but not human, daemonic or angelic, made of energy or “subtle fire,” catalyzing each other in this intimate intersection. What is the substance of their colloquy? What mystery?

For me, the female silhouette evokes the Orphic Eurynome, who fashioned the serpent Ophion from the wind between her hands: together they created the universe. She also calls to my mind the Star Goddess of Feri, who created the “angel of many colors” as her first consort. Perhaps this pair reflects these cosmic ideas?

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