I started working on this piece seven years ago, I was inspired the moment I saw my son warming himself by the fire. Immediately I saw a deeper meaning that caused me to ponder the Holocaust and what happened to the Jewish people during World War II. This photo was taken by a friend and photographer, Terrance Herron. I knew from the moment I saw this photograph I wanted to turn it into a work of art. This is a multi-media assemblage art piece. When looking at it, one is intimately drawn into a very intimate and contemplative setting, that of a somber nature. As we investigate this image there is a quit reflection, our imaginations wander: we wonder what kind of thoughts are happening for this child as he stares into the flames. The remains of leather soles seen in this piece were found at an old city dump. There is a connection here for me with Jesus dying outside the city gates where the garbage was thrown out.
This work also contains symbolism by including a small gas tank, barbed wire, and an authentic the emblem taken from a soldier’s uniform featuring an eagle and swastika. There are also cookie cutters of different sizes of the Star of David. I introduced cookie cutters as they represent the mindless repetition of mass production, reminding me of the treatment of the Jewish prisoners. As we have often heard history repeats itself – could this happen again? I thought this was an appropriate symbol to address aspects of this thought.
I want to offer a message of Mercy and Hope because these stars are impregnated with precious seeds and gems, representing the dreams that will ultimately be realized in Heaven. This is the only spiritual response I can offer. It reminds me of the Scripture from John 12:24 unless a seed falls into the ground and dies it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds. Their horrific genocide, I believe, will be viewed as martyrdom by God, and as he was with them in this trial, he has also made heaven their new home. Just as there are many layers to this piece, there are also many interesting layers to my life encounters that all seem to tie into this Artwork in a very personal and interesting way. I will make it my aim to expand on this for my next post, which will be two weeks from today. This has been a real labor of love, for those who are so inclined, I appreciate any extra prayers to help make this post possible. I am a Christian artist; my artworks explore the deeper meanings of spiritual life. It is my hopeful prayer that this work of art will stand as a signpost, like a lighthouse on a hill. Works like mine can which serves to remind and warn us of hidden dangers. Inspiring us to acknowledge God’s desire to restore us with his divine nature. The goal is to be harmoniously joined in love as we sojourn together through this life and on to the next. In the Bible it says God will bring every work into judgment, with everything that has been overlooked, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. 12:14
In the next post I will reveal a more personal journey that relates to this artwork and the time we are living in. As of late Nobel Prize winner, Elie Wiesel, warned, in his acceptance speech of 1986; that if the world remained silent and aimed to forget, he likened it to being accomplices. So, he made it his aim and swore never to be silent. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his book titled, “Night”. He believed being silent and not giving a voice would betray the many helpless voices that were silenced. My artwork is a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. It honors the innocent and hopes to partially restore beauty for ashes. In closing for today's post. I would like to share a special poem, by Emily Dickinson:
Tell all the truth but tell it slant
Tell all the truth but tell it slant-
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind -