**click portrait to enlarge**
(mixed media on wood veneer, 30X40, 1999)
"Angel of Death"
Years ago I had a random conversation with a friend of mine regarding tattoos. He was convinced that a tattoo is like a 'destiny stamp' that shapes how a person's life will go in the future. A decade passed and one day (while rearranging my parents' basement) I uncovered "The Angel of Death", a painting that I did back in college and sort of forgot about. Suddenly I remembered the 'tattoo' conversation and began to wonder whether the image that I painted had influenced my life in ways I didn't intend.
I used my own photo for the Angel of Death. Back then I didn't think anything about depicting myself as such a character. However, looking back the fateful self-portrait could be construed as an eerie indicator of things to come. For somebody my age I've lost way too many people close to me. Several of them died in my presence. Not to mention that my pets and even random animals chose to die in my arms. A number of times when I wasn't home my pets waited for me to come home before dying. To witness so many deaths is a heavy burden to bear for one person. On the other hand, I also feel strangely honored to be the person present when a soul departs to a better world.
"The ultimate function of prophecy is not to tell the future, but to make it."
"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live."
"If one looks closely enough, one can see angels in every piece of art."