The “Shadow Man” made his first appearance as a character in two colláge/drawings from a series that encompassed the early months of the Covid 19 pandemic. A thin, gray, mostly featureless character, he represents an ever-present awareness of mortality. Unlike the frightening cliché of the dispassionate “Grim Reaper”, the Shadow Man is inclined to empathy and emotional connection with the souls he must usher into the next world.
Two years after the Shadow Man’s first appearance, I found a stenciled figure from an old monoprint project who reminded me of him. I scanned the stencil, and began playing with placing him in various situations: conversing with “String Man”, visiting an aquarium, consulting other pan-dimensional beings (Angel and Raven), discovering beauty, and pondering his own gloomy existence as a symbol of Death.
The final three images in this series were created in response to the emerging war in Ukraine, and reflect his sadness (and mine) about the violence and self-destructive nature of humankind.
A half-century as a working artist with a love for narrative images has created a vast trove of imprecise but deeply significant symbols, which contribute to my personal mythology. The pursuit of art has also produced a trove of notions, sketches, scraps, drips, and smears, all scanned and collected in computer files. The process of “digital colláge” allows me to lift images at will from previous works, manipulate them in a variety of ways, and combine them with bits of detritus from existing files and with stuff painted directly onto the computer. The results exist only in the computer, until they are printed. In this case, the prints are made in archival inks on cotton rag paper.
I am still a drawer and painter. The feel and sound and sensory delight of a pencil moving across paper have yet to be duplicated technologically. Technology is another tool. Each new tool presents its own learning curve, altering perspectives and allowing new possibilities.
These originals exist only in the computer. Archival “Fine Art” prints on cotton rag paper are available for purchase: Image size, 14″ x 19″. Price: $200. Contact me to arrange purchase and shipping.