Westworld, 2004 Oil on Linen 22 × 32 inches
Westworld, 2004
Oil on Linen 22 × 32 inches

This earlier work was originally from the Hamlet 1999 series, but I thought it prudent to put it here, in my invocation of the Last Judgment, to be both representative of the Damned, but also of resurrection, as the mask of the face is leading towards the Opening of the Fifth Seal and resurrection. Of course this is Yul Brynner’s android character, with his face off and the working parts revealed at the end. In Hamlet 1999 he was employed as a Claudius type character—a malevolent patriarch, with the man—or machine, in the technocratic sci-fi version I created, behind the malevolent technocratic corporate commodity culture. Here, I thought of him as one of the damned, like one of the heads floating in a pool of blood in Dante’s inferno, or in a more uplifting idea, the spirit of someone rising above the negative patriarchal machine, hopefully in a moment of ascension. What for me I love about this painting ultimately is that in thinking of my thoughts (and in this case, my nightmares) in the act of painting, in the micromanaged moments where my left brain has difficulty ascertaining the elements in the blurry photo of this special affects moment, it necessitates the flights of fancy that occur within the head itself. Da Vinci always says you "paint yourself" however I truly think we sometimes paint our brain—and/or the thoughts, dreams, and visions within your cognitive mind. I always, in my Iconscapes, want to describe them, using instinct, but stop short of illustrating what I might see in instinctive moves—sometimes when painting representationally, you have enough visual clues for your mind to map upon the colors, forms, and space you see—here it really seems like a dream world of forms and figures and space within that section of the painting, doing gosh knows what, the more I stare into it, the more figures I see. I hope the corporeal frame of representation sets up the imaginary theater of the dream space inside of the mind, where the real action occurs, perhaps here a spirit of this being as it prepares to hopefully ascend to higher territory in every way.