A pictorial depiction of our journey through life, Odyssey. Oil on canvas, 36 inches by 72 inches, 2008 re-finished 2011.
I originally finished The Odyssey in 2008 but then reworked it in the fall of 2011 for my show “God Factory”.
The Odyssey I believe is the greatest story ever told because it is an allegoric portrayal of the unfolding drama of our lives.
We are born and grow in the comfort of our family and then quite suddenly in our teens are ripped out of this environment to go to work or college, for Odysseus, it was fighting the Trojan War. After many years we achieve successful lives, the defeat of Troy. Now begins our journey of introspection and our return voyage home.
After many adventures and delays, generally of our own making, we, to put it in the words of T.S. Elliott in his poem Little Gidding, “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”.
In the back ground of the picture are the two antagonists, Pallas Athena and Poseidon, who are the interplay of cosmic forces: fire and water.
In center stage stands Odysseus himself, armed and poised ready for any eventuality. On his belt is the image of the Trojan horse, his inspiration that brought an end to the Trojan war.
Above him hovers the totem animal of Athena, the owl, who transmits Athena’s wisdom to Odysseus.
Around him in the realm of Poseidon we see the images of his lost comrades which shows that only the true, inner part of ourselves can return. Our egos and positions are stripped away on our journey home.