Please note that due to the subject matter of this project (death/grief) some of the images on this blog might be disturbing.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Matthew Rose: La chute des anges rebelles

My father was always aiming for the sky. When my mother passed away on July 25, 2009, he was heart broken. A week before he passed away I found him in his room, sitting on the edge of his bed having just awoken from a dream. He was disturbed. In the dream he was looking for my mother. We cried in each others' arms in the darkness.

I sent nearly all my production to my parents, including this limited edition post card, La chute des anges rebelles / De val der opstandige engelen, the text title from Pieter Breughel the Elder's famous 1562 painting, a dreamscape of rebel angels as they fall back to earth, chased from Paradise by the Archangel Michael. It is the 8th work in a suite of 7 text silkscreens entitled "Paintings." The pieces took only the text captions from the backs of museum post cards. One aspect of this work is the powerful notion of "word as image." The texts of these paintings divorced from their proper paintings. My parents donated the entire suite to The Boca Raton Museum of Art, and a short essay on the work is permanently displayed alongside the pieces as "A Gift From Doris and Irving Rose."

The January day this year we buried my father, the sky was very very blue. A military color guard honored him at the cemetery for his service beginning on D-Day in France, where I now live. Towards the end of the service, I gave a short eulogy about both my father and mother. While looking up at the sky, and its blueness, I told one of my father's best friends: "It's an Irving Rose kind of day." My father would say about the day "Quiet, peaceful." It was. How often I've been left standing with only words; like trying to drink rain drops.

The handkerchief, white with an embroidered golfer, was among my father's things. He used it to wipe the sweat off his brow as he played round after round of golf under blue on earth. It is an object and image now standing in for the words describing my father, words that say this is something he used, something he liked, something that now represents him here.

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