2,996

2,996 lives were lost on September 11, 2001 as a result of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. This painting seeks to provide a visual representation of those lives lost, as the human mind is notoriously bad at visualizing large numbers. Each of the figures was painted individually, each represents a life. It is hard to imagine still the sum of the grief experienced by those left behind. 2,996 individuals tied to dozens of friends and family members, many of whom I am sure suffer to this day.

I tried to capture the idea of the clear blue sky that was marred by clouds of smoke and billowing dust as the buildings collapsed. The images of rebar and fragments of building stand out in my mind as crews searched the rubble for survivors. The figure in the center deliberately resembles a superhero…I think the idea of a superhero coming to save the day died for a lot of people back then. Yet at the same time, many heroes arose as a result of these tragic events.

Scared of the dark

When I was a kid I was scared of the dark. Not like I couldn’t sleep with the lights off, but I didn’t like to walk into or out of a dark room. I felt like I was about to get ambushed, or like there was someone sneaking behind me. I especially hated walking up the basement stairs in my childhood home. The light at the top of the stairs was hardly comforting compared to the massive darkness that was threatening to swallow me from behind.

Sometimes I still get that feeling. That even though I’m moving forward and I’m moving up and I’m moving toward the light, I might still get swallowed up from behind by that massive darkness. I’m not even entirely sure what the darkness consists of…old memories? Old emotions? Subconscious fears and insecurities? That’s the funny thing about being afraid of the dark. You aren’t afraid of something you know is there.

You’re simply afraid of the uncertainty.

Celestial Bodies

This is a painting I did a while ago and recently updated. The original was a spray painted design that was meant to be abstract and reminiscent of outer space. Recently I decided that I hated it. It was the start of something I never finished.

The updated version is a little better, but now it contains ghostly figures rising. Where are they going? That’s a good question. Maybe nowhere. But at least they appear to be moving, and that’s a start. Now instead of a page I’d say I have a chapter…someday I’ll finish the book.