Vanity of Vanities
This is a painting series that I started in my last semester at the University of Central Florida (Fall 2013). I want to finish it one day, but I got really busy after I graduated.
It’s to be a series of double self-portraits, that depict the kind of pursuit of happiness that Solomon seeks in Ecclesiastes. I intend to have six 16″x20″ panels that show a hedonistic me, trying to find fulfillment in something, and a stoic me, too aware of the ultimate futility of that thing to enjoy it. The seventh image is to be a 36″x36″ depiction of me attending my own funeral. The concept being: in six paintings did I labor for satisfaction/fulfillment, and in the seventh, rested–in death.
I was really inspired by the despair that Arthur Miller leaves his audience in at the end of Death of a Salesman. I was blessed to have been invited to see the play performed at the Mad Cow Theatre in downtown Orlando in July of 2013; it may have changed my life. After talking with a friend about the impression it had on me, he suggested that I read through Ecclesiastes. After having my mind blown by Ecclesiastes, I listened through Alistair Begg’s sermon series, “Chasing the Wind” on a drive back from Atlanta to Orlando, before my last semester at UCF.
I proposed the series, and it seemed pretty well-received. The only concern was that it could have ended up pretty cheesy, if it was not handled well.
More than anything, I loved the conversations that the series got me into, when I was working late nights in the studio. Many dear friendships developed, contributing to one of the best semesters I had at UCF.
You can see these 5 paintings a little better at the bottom of my Portfolio page.
There’s a lot more to the series, so if you’re interested, please feel free to ask me about it.