Madonna and Child (After Duccio), 2008 Oil on panel 11 × 8.25 inches
Madonna and Child (After Duccio), 2008
Oil on panel 11 × 8.25 inches

This is obviously an appropriation, or "copy" of the incredible Duccio painting at the Met—one of the great masterpieces of the world, that is our "Mona Lisa." Amazing things sometimes come in small packages—and this fantastic painting has really moved me every time I see it—there are so many secrets in it that give it its lifelike verve, that I feel that if Ben Stiller were to be a guard in a movie about the Met, this would be a painting that would be talking to him, or hovering in the air with giant gleams of light melting Nazi’s if it were to encounter Indiana Jones!

In all seriousness, this is a whopper of a work that I tried to surmount for my Good Leaders, Endangered Species, Ships at Sea Pt. 2 show, at the climatic end that I wanted to end like it does here, in my meta-narrative where they are placed, near where they would be on Michelangelo’s wall of the Last Judgment. This painting, which took forever to "complete" is done exactly to scale to the original work, including the frame, which in real life has the holes in it due to the burning candles that would be in front of the painting for worshipers who prayed to the original. I couldn’t, of course "beat" the original—Picasso said if you copy the Old Masters, how its "not like" the Old Master you are copying is what is "you" about it, and perhaps its not in anyway being an exact replica is what is me about this one. There is a whole world in the folds just in the cloth the Christ child is holding and Mary’s head, that peering into it, and many of the other folds and wrinkles was a bedazzling sight and befuddling to try to render even with the teeny-tiniest of brushes. Of course one of the reasons this painting is so famous is that it helped to usher us from the iconic age of Medieval Times to the Renaissance, due to the "real" warmth and emotion the Christ child is showing Mary (and visa-versa). I fear that my work might have some life, but I’m not sure it is of the mother/child variety, perhaps more inspired by the slightly miniature adult feel of the baby in the Duccio—much better than most pre-Renaissance works, but Christ was a wizened entity and the supernatural spiritual aspects I think are the ones that I ended up emphasizing, as the painting itself seemed to be otherworldly. She is pointing at the precipice—another part Duccio invention was perspective, and she is pointing to letters that are rendered in the front of this—I’ve asked scholars their meaning, but no one yet has been able to tell me for certain, another strange mystery to this blazen alchemized work of incredible transcendence that I could only hope to learn from.