Rise and Fall
2018 - 2019
These works developed in response to a trip to the Greek island of Ikaria in the Eastern Aegean. Ikaria derives its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, who was believed to have fallen into the sea nearby*. In July, the fig trees on Ikaria were bursting with ripe figs. In Greco-Roman culture, the symbolism of the fig is overt, which is what I have exploited in this body of work. The concept of “Rise and Fall” is a direct reference to the Icarus myth but also refers to the rise and fall of civilizations. In keeping with my practice of using literary references, the paintings in this series all have titles that are taken from the epic ancient Greek poem The Illiad by Homer, a saga about the Trojan War with characters from both the mortal world and the world of the Gods.
*Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus' father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea's dampness would not clog his wings nor the sun's heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father's instructions not to fly too close to the sun; when the wax in his wings melted he tumbled out of the sky and fell into the sea where he drowned.