After many years of becoming proficient in acrylic and spray paints, pastels, typography, resin, and silk screening, MEMENTO MORi was born. It has become my platform to tell stories of life and also to just create something beautiful.
MEMENTO MORi began as a series representing the four existential dilemmas every human being faces in life: Death, Isolation, Freedom of Choice, and Meaninglessness. Even though these four are constants in life, thinking about them creates discomfort. So, we do not. To avoid anxiety, we end up living as if we will never die. MEMENTO MORi is a reminder to live more authentically and purposefully. The typography I created for that purpose, DONOTDENYME, is used in every MEMENTO MORi piece.
MEMENTO MORi’s main character, the Resurrection Angel, is an actual sculpture located in Campo Verano cemetery in Rome. In the late 1800’s, the sculpture was created by Giulio Monteverde for his own grave where he and family members now rest. For some, Monteverde’s Resurrection Angel is the “Mona Lisa” of funerary art. Standing in front of her creates contradictory feelings. She is beautiful. She is peaceful. It’s as if I know her. Watching her timeless beauty and grace contradicts the seriousness in her facial expression. I wonder, do I need to fearful of her?
What else can be a better representation of death? Or, the beauty of life for one who really lives?
My process begins with large wood panels which I wrap and layer in DONOTDENYME card stock. This becomes my blank canvas. From there I bring my work to life with the use of acrylic and spray paint, pastels, inks, enamel, gold leaf, silk-screens, matte and gloss/matte multi-layered resin and diamond dust. Some pieces are meticulously executed while others are distressed and aged. Each piece is unique, signed, titled, dated, and not to be duplicated.
While the Angel and typography are the two constant components, I continue to push myself to evolve as an artist by stepping outside my comfort zone and improving on and learning new techniques. While some of the pieces are highly planned out and quite technical, others are the creations of the emotionally driven moments.
My piece (COVID-19) BLACKSHEEP was recently shown at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2020 and I have been invited to show at Venice Biennale in 2022.