The Specimen (The Soul, Fifth Mansion from the Interior Castle)
oil on canvas
20 x 22 inches
The subject matter and small scale of this painting reference specimen and oddities collections. It is the sister painting to “The Relic, 2120 AD” depicting a golden life-sized AR15 Rifle encased in a reliquary. Essentially, a gun butterfly is another example of melding binaries and transforming an object’s original purpose into a conduit for metamorphosis.
I was in the middle of reading St. Teresa of Avila’s “Interior Castle” (about mystical union with God) and specifically recollecting her analogy of the soul to the butterfly in the 5th mansion. This pair of paintings was made during the violence and social unrest of 2020 with an awareness of the desperate need for collective introspection.