Face-ing Death

One of the greatest challenges I have faced as an artist was when Death decided I needed to paint them. It came as a massive download of data that took almost a year to sort out. I finally realized that what they wanted was a re-imaging of their spirit for the word. the images most people associate with death are that of a rotting phsycial body, one that was bloody and scary and almost always Male. Death does not like this. They desire a "PR campaign" to help people realize that Death has no gender. that death is not scary, not the END- it is a transition. and And most importantly, I think, is that people- in a global sense- see and experience Death in almost the exact same way.. and have for thousands, if not tens of thousands, of years.

I am an Oracle. I have been in close contact with Death for decades. This project was hard. Hard to not piss people off. Hard to accurately portray personifications from cultures I do not belong to, trying to avoid cultural appropriation but all the while having this.. entity pushing me to do it right.

I had one person be very upset that I changed the gender of 'Thanatos". I expected that. People don't like it when you mess with what they think is scared. But death told me to- so I did. I had another person call into question how light skinned and blue eyed "Death's Dreaming" was. She did not knw that the model who sat for it was of mixed heritage, nor could she see in the small thumbnail i shared that the face is actually a gradient of skin tones from light to dark- representing the spectrum of skin colors aboriginal Australians now have thanks to the lost generation and intermarriages. I quoted to her what the model told me "Tea.. is still tea no matter how much milk is in it"

Below you will find a short podcast about one question I was asked on the series.