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“The Torture Garden,” 24″ x 30″ (61 x 76 cm), Acrylic on Canvas, 2011
Woman possesses the cosmic force of an element, an invincible force of destruction, like nature’s. She is, in herself alone, all nature! Being the matrix of life, she is by that very fact the matrix of death – since it is from death that life is perpetually reborn, and since to annihilate death would be to kill life at its only fertile source.
– Octave Mirbeau, The Torture Garden, 1899
This painting derives from an image I named, “Venus”, that I made in Photoshop a couple of years ago:
I started the painting by faithfully copying the image in the photomontage, but after awhile it seemed pedantic to me – I felt that when it was just a copy of the montage that it lacked my personal touch and style, and so I stopped looking at the photo and improvised all the finishing touches. Now, I feel that I have created something that is distinctly mine. I think the ballerina legs may come from a Henri Cartier-Bresson photo, but of this I am not certain – they are mine now!
The title, “Torture Garden”, is of course a tribute to the famous novel which I recently read. It seemed such a fitting title – I could not resist.