Mercury: Del Oro Picture

48" x 60"
acrylic, goldleaf on fiberglass
2015

This art work is a dimensional painting. It hangs on the wall but rises out more than 8 inches in certain places. Then entire image was created out of a single piece of fiberglass. It weighs over 65 pounds.

This series was produced in the late 90's. This particular piece was my final, remaining 'blank' which I had held in storage until the right buyer came along. In 2015 I was commissioned to paint a piece that reflected the clients' impressive view of a Southern Californian beach. Thus the colors capture the surrounding foliage, sky and ocean.

The creation of these pieces was extremely complex. Semi-full body castings were taken of live models using dental alginate. Liquid plasticine was poured into the negative alginate molds. When hardened these plasticine parts were assembled upon a large sheet of Mylar and additional elements were added (i.e. wings and headpieces). A 5 inch thick layer of silicone was then poured over the entire image, creating a final, negative mold. Liquid and gauze fiberglass was then placed into the silicone mold giving me the final product. From each silicone 'mother mold' i was usually able to create 3 - 4 pieces before the mold fell apart. The final, fiberglass casting was then painted (acrylic, oil, enamel and gold leaf).


ABOUT THE SERIES 'THE BOOK OF SPHERES'
The series itself was inspired by an obscure manuscript known as 'The Key of the King of Solomon'. The Key of Solomon (or Clavicula Salomonis) is one the oldest and most infamous of all magical texts. Its' origins can be traced back through various medieval writings as far back as 1456. Speculations of the author vary, yet the most fanciful (and in my view appealing) is that Solomon, the great ruler of the ancient Hebrews, fathered the book. It is believed, among certain occult groups, that this king developed a method of summoning powerful angels (both good and evil) and then under his command, he would send them forth to do his bidding. It is further supposed that the fabulous Temple at Jerusalem was built using a legion of these supernatural beings.

ON SELECTING A MODEL FOR 'MERCURY':
As soon as I met Montana Miller I knew that she would a perfect Mercury. She had sent me a few photos and a bio that seriously wet my appetite. I was looking for a extraverted genius; both of the body and the mind, and a dynamic leader; someone who had something to say and constantly wrestled with the need to relay that information to others. This is the essence of the Mercurial spirit, leading her devotees onward and upward in the quest for truth. Montana is an honors graduate from Harvard, a lecturer, author and currently attending UCLA for a PHD in Folklore. Formerly she 'flew' as a trapeze artist for Circque de Soleil, and was one of the first women ever to dive from the 80 foot cliffs of Acupulco. Today she has developed an amazing performance piece by merging storytelling, mythology and great physical strength, all done while on the flying rings.

THE MARKINGS OF 'MERCURY':
On The Left Hand: The Third Pentacle of Mercury.
This and the following serve to invoke the Spirits subject unto Mercury; and especially those who are written in this Pentacle; Kokaviel, Ghedoriah, Savaniah and Chokmahiel.

On The Right Hand: The Fourth Pentacle of Mercury.
This is further proper to acquire the understanding and Knowledge of all things created and seek out and penetrate into hidden things; and to command those Spirits which are called Allatori to perform embassies. They obey very readily.
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