Contact prints of the body have a tradition in sacred arts, often functioning as evidence of the physical existence of divine or holy persons. We know the Shroud of Turin, the footprints of Buddha and Mohammed, prehistoric cave hand prints, and the thumb print signature. The message of the hand print, foot print, or body print is “I was here”. There is also a sense of a straightforward image not interpreted by the artist’s imagination: a direct impression.
In my body prints, I examine anatomy, posture, muscular tension and bone alignment, as well as the aura surrounding and emanating from the body, to indicate balance and connection to both inner and outer levels of existence. I also draw upon images from ancient burial shrouds, mummies, Neolithic cave paintings, Eastern and Western medical charts, Kirlian and x-ray photography.
The process of making the work involves one or more actual contact body prints. I put paint on the model’s body, and press it onto a surface. Then I paint color around it and in layers over it, working further with brushes, my fingers, airbrush, and splattered painting techniques. The layers, adding both physical and metaphorical substance, enhance the original print, as well as building up a glow, so that the aura becomes luminous.
My art connects emotion, spirit, and body; it connects dream and reality; and memory and the present. Nudity in my art is not about sexual display. It expresses innocence, honesty, openness, and freedom. I work in the tradition of the “Aesthetic Gnostics” – that my paintings would bring a shift in consciousness – a transcendence – in the viewer. I seek to invoke a sense of awe for our physical and psychic existence.
"If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred."
~ Walt Whitman