Heartstone 2014 Archival pigment print on cotton paper 120 x 120 cm Edition of 5 + 2 AP
In this self-portrait, a black latex hood encases the artist’s head and an oral surgical device holds his lips open. A pink gemstone, shaped like a crystalline teardrop or petrified heart, floats weightless in his hands. There is ambiguity and tension in the opposition of darkness and light, between gravity and weightlessness. The hood and oral retractor are symbols of discipline and control. The hood deprives the body of its senses, acting as a form of disguise and transformation. The oral retractor opens the body for inspection, rendering the body subject to external forces. A private ritual takes place with the pink rhodocrosite, a crystal used for deep emotional healing. Like blood removed from the body, petrified into stone, and transformed into a precious gem, the artist’s heart is an offering to the viewer and a treasure held captive.