THE SCULPTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

2016

Materials: Poplar Wood, Polyurethane, Beeswax, India Ink

This “container for a dream” revolves around the idea of perfection that is both the standard and an unattainable goal in modern American culture. The piece is has delicate aspects, such as wax and gold leaf, but both are cracking and frayed. The wood is flowing and smooth from a distance, but upon close inspection is rough, burnt, and gouged out. My sporadic use of red india ink both highlights and embraces imperfection. All of these aspects are inspired by ideas of femininity and how they correspond with perfection and delicateness, and how these are neither sustainable or healthy ideals to place on every person.

The theme of nature is also prevalent is this piece. Apart from the polyurethane finish, I used only natural elements, such as pigmented ink, wood, and natural beeswax. I was very rough in carving out the wood to add a sense of violence reminiscent of the way that humans take from nature. The gold leaf, although traditionally used to cover up and heighten the beauty of the wood, tears and hides no imperfections.  In my display, I have placed two ruby and gold necklaces. Both appear very delicate and beautiful, but in reality come from a long process of “gouging out” parts of the earth. Their placement shows two sides of the quest for beauty: the glamorized appearance and the imperfect reality.

This piece is titled “The Sculpture of Dorian Gray”, based loosely on the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, which also deals with themes of the quest for perfection and the ugliness  behind that endeavor.