Inspirations found in Central Park and the Met

I was looking for subtle inspirational pieces while showing my sister around Central Park and the Met here in NYC. I’d been to the Met a gazillion times but have avoided, for the most part, the Egyptian exhibit since I had seen it so many times when I first moved here over 10 years ago. My sister devoured each and every bit of this exhibit, leaving me with nothing to do but look for pieces that could inspire my work in subtle ways.

Sure all of the cool ancient statuary should alone done the job but then again, 4,000 years of artists have in some form done the same thing. For a while I’ve been interested in the beauty of decay or damaged objects because there’s a sense of abandonment or loneliness that I ascribe to these objects. I can imagine them buried under sand and stone for centuries before being found and placed in a context that the creators couldn’t have imagined. Also, reading Black Hole by Charles Burns placed me in a search for cracks that could symbolize myriad Freud and Surrealist-like concepts as well as the objects without the identifiable reflections of humanity such as faces — ideas that are also buried in my imagination.

The trees that I took pictures of in Central Park also contain these ideas. The wrinkle-like ridges of the bark and the leafless branches deeply struck me. I couldn’t help but imagine the tree as the personification of Jesus Christ — a figure who, despite my beliefs, was central to my liberal Catholic upbringing. Of course, I find a Jesus everywhere. Drawing the Egyptian figures and trees together, it helped me recall certain memories from my own life, returning again to the meditative qualities of being alone and aged. Scars, cracks and other signs of decaying matter enhance the objects awesome existence. Truly awe-some.

Except for some white balance corrections, the photos below are largely unaltered. Just wanted to share these with you so you can see where I’m going while also recording these meditations for myself. As you’ll notice immediately, not all of the pictures are of trees and Egyptian relics but they were all part of the same feeling I had while focused on my study.

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