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Caprichos III

Dark fantasies of the imagination tumbling forth from troubled dreams; the rational mind of conscious control submits to nightmarish visions erupting from an unrelieved awareness and intimidating dread of an empty confused existence.  This description applies to the works presented here, and though animated by memories of Goya's genius, bears little resemblance to the message elicited from his vision The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, the key inspiration for this series. In Goya's illustration, reason restrains fearful malice, but if incapacitated by drugs, sleep, or indifference, permits the monsters of superstition, greed, bigotry, and ignorance to overwhelm the civilizing impulses in human individuals and society.


But if the sleep of reason can produce monsters, the misuse of reason can magnify them. 


In the tableaux below, reason has been surreptitiously enlisted only to reinforce the unresolved emotional strains kindled by the challenges of contemporary living, challenges manifesting as spectral forms of torn visages, strange habitations, distorted hybrids, and humanoid figures vaguely familiar yet sometimes frighteningly alien.  The images stare back mockingly, often as disturbed self-portraits, at other times a jury of unsatisfied memories rebuking attempts to understand their significance.  Nothing of paradise is portrayed in these pictures.  Instead, viewers are embraced by a chaotic and bizarre purgatory shrouded in shadow, penetrated by a diffuse light absent of warmth, but nevertheless accusative by what it allows to be seen.  Projected into this surreal world, the invisible threats to composure remain securely cloaked by night, until becoming visible through the unbridled anxiety of the artist.

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