Broken Bird

Broken Bird

Mourning Dove, 48″ X 36″, (2004)


To Euripides, the Greek dramatist, birds were “messengers of the gods.” Scholars say birds, like butterflies, represent human souls as they abandon physical bodies at the moment of death.

These post-mortem portraits evolved from the gathering of visual elements for my work in narrative portraits. As I posed these delicate breathless creatures in the studio, they visually came to life, seemingly a rebirth, of sorts, symbolizing their everlasting purity and grace. Besides providing a commentary on nature’s fragility, this series celebrates their existence and intrinsic beauty. By placing a crown on them, I hope to remind viewers of the value of life, however small.

After several years’ work on this series, my father saw one of the still life portraits and told me that I spoke my first words as a child while riding as a passenger on his bicycle. He stopped at a crossroad to wait for traffic. As he carefully looked for cars, I pointed out a fallen mockingbird. “Daddy! Bird broke.”

My fascination for birds and their symbolism of freedom, beauty, and the human spirit continues to this day.




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