Dev9t Festival - Belgrade, SRB (2019)
In the past few years, I've pushed further from traditional paintings in the sense of canvas and a studio, and more towards murals and connecting the works to a public setting. Working on a piece doesn't simply consist of the imagery that I'm painting, but the setting that it's in and how my work meshes with the surroundings. This year, for Dev9t festival in Belgrade, Serbia, the given theme was alchemy.

Rather than simply taking the theme for face value and breathing life into my first reaction to the word, I tried to do as much research into it as possible. Yes, alchemy was largely focused on creating gold from other elements, but the concept on a larger scheme was the ability to break down certain materials to their core elements and then restructure them into something entirely different. It was loosely the basis for today's chemistry.

With this in mind, the concept that I landed upon for this piece was what is called the "Peacock Moment". The instance upon when the desired reaction is reached in alchemy, when the substance turns from whatever its initial form was into the planned outcome. The reaction that every alchemist hoped for, essentially. I wanted to relate this bit of lore to the current world and what that would be like. For me, it was a peacock trapped in a bottle. If such a reaction/moment did exist, I'm sure that the vast majority of the population would keep it locked up, trapped in a bottle for their own pleasure/use.

This concept was further exemplified by the hand holding the bottle, but without a face or idea who exactly is holding it. This can be understood as "Big Brother", a divine figure, or simply a normal person scaled up. Whatever the interpretation, I wanted to provide a feeling of being trapped. A greed on one end and a helplessness on the other. The background was an abstraction of a box, giving depth and a void behind the piece, framed in a white border to hint at fine art prints, as a large reason I make public art is to provide fine art for those that otherwise wouldn't see or have it.
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