Virgin Picture

This image was inspired by a project I’ve been working on recently – religious candles. I created this specifically for a candle label after the Virgin de Guadalupe, and veered off into wackiness from there. There’s a lot to be said for Me vs. Religion, but I won’t bother to get into that here. I will say that I’ve always been interested in legends and mythologies, in how real figures and events figure into fantastical settings and circumstances. I find Christianity and Catholicism interesting in the same way that I enjoy Greek or Roman mythology. To me, it’s all magical, supernatural, and larger than life. Stories, tales, and images passed down through generations and over centuries (or millenia) have a great deal of power and influence, hence their longevity.

“Larger Than Life.” What does that mean, exactly? To me, it speaks to ideas, concepts, or stories that lay outside the bounds of what we currently consider possible. People have always had a unique capacity for imagination, which compels us to create art, literature, science, math, etc. It’s about contemplating what’s beyond the limits of our knowledge. In the case of stories and fables, it’s about making stuff up, or exaggerating to impossible lengths and preternatural limits. My imagination has always been fired by things that balance on the edge of believability, that blurred line between what is real and what isn’t. The more vague and obfuscated that line, the better.

I think a lot of the legends and tales of religion(s) occupy that fuzzy area where knowledge meets imagination, and where reality and dreams ebb and flow like the waters of a beach shore. In this image I wanted to literally convey the magic and otherworldliness of a religious figure, and of the fantastical nature of religion in general.

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