I was inspired by the iconic sculptor Augusta Rodin and his piece titled, The Gates of Hell. It is a large relief sculpture that was created for an alter piece but was never finish.
My painting, The Empty Space was created with this work in mind and includes several groups of people, human bodies twisting and battling within the barriers of a confined and limited space, just as in Rodin's relief sculpture. As a Black man in America, I. can relate to those feelings of confinement and struggle within many commnunities of color.
However, in my painting, within each cubicle is a representation of different cultures. Italian, Irish, Asian, Black, and Hispanic all fight to expand their space by pushing against the walls and floors that contain them. If one group were to break through they would spill over into another's space. It is with this mentality that society has pitted one group against the other. My aim is to explore this concept in a visual and narrative form.
In the painting no one is aware of the large empty space, that symbolizes the unlimited possibilities and available resources. This space metaphorically represents the lack of conscious awareness of the plight of others, often experienced within our shared society. Ideas of conscious and unconscious perspective, race and ethnicity, identity and gender inequality and class structure are some of the topics explored.
" When our vision is without, we are empty inside".
The Empty Space
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 60 x 58"
Series: Inner Vision Portfolio