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Self-Portrait

Butternut
5ft 7’
SOLD

I carved this piece while I was going through a very difficult time in my life. Years of denial had led to a host of negative voices in head, which needless to say, generated an immense amount of anxiety. Anxiety led to weight-loss. The sculpture is an attempt to communicate the various psychological and emotional elements that were working simultaneously inside of me.  The expression on my face reflects the classic Dutch appearance of sarcastic indifference.  This expression was fundamental in terms of masking the truth of my deteriorating state.  My stance reflects my social conditioning- to be well behaved and polite.  My hands are locked behind my back; my knees are locked together.  The fact that I am not standing straight reveals my insecurity.  The exposed ribs in the sculpture have quite a literal translation – I was often unable to eat.  Not because I thought I was fat but merely because the anxiety wouldn’t allow for proper digestion.  The back of the sculpture reveals the most telling aspects of the neurosis that were plaguing me.  There are two screaming mouths that are situated at the heart chakra and the kundalini chakra. These two power points had become dominated by negative energy that persistently criticized who I was.  All in all, actualizing my troubled state into a tangible form truly helped me to face some of my worst fears and I began to heal.  Carving this piece was a therapeutic as well as an artistic exercise.

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