In a previous posting, I detailed the figurative work completed in cemeteries. I enjoy the solitude and the amazing range of sculptural styles. Working here allows complete immersion into the composition with little interference.
Basic graveyards have little appeal. The best locations exist in older cities where cemeteries offer audacious expressions of wealth after death. Huge glorious tombs with intricate carvings and architectural detail beyond belief scatter about these places. In fact, their hidden beauty creates a treasure hunt of discovery.
My favorites are in Europe. Finding an early necropolis in these big cities always yields terrific examples. Many times these places are also forgotten. So old, with many families long gone, they become overgrown. This adds another layer of visual intrigue to an already classical image.
I can easily envision the nude interacting with these tombs. In spite of negative perception, I feel these locations grant a human-scaled environment that would be difficult to replicate. And there’s much symbolism that enriches the final composition.
These places seem to call for life. Sometimes I see the figure in close interaction with the tomb. Other times I can visualize the nude as part of the full landscape. It is a logical transition from stoney carved flesh to the warmth of the living body that makes these images compelling.
Seeing the unexpected or constructing visual dichotomies creates a potent visual message. It makes for a lasting memory beyond the graves.