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David Gilhooly


Other Works on Paper

Everyone says I'm two dimensional

I have always been drawn to the image, idea and above all, the power of The Sacred Heart. It’s the idea of link to Hearts, image set 1having this alive, vital thing associated with the center of mortal life that's actually a symbol of immortality.  I tried to capture that power in some of the ceramic frog sculptures and I truly thought that the humor in those pieces would take people off the idea of an internal organ and all its horror show gushiness and allow them to think of a heart in a different way.  It really didn’t.  One gallery director said it all.

link to Hearts, image set 2“Let’s face it, Gilhooly, organs and skeletons don’t sell.”

It seems that a sculptural heart is harder for people to confront and have than a heart on paper. And the further away I got from an anatomical heart the easier it was for people to have the piece around. Apparently, people find symbols easier to confront when it comes to internal organs or more specifically, hearts, so I also started using the Valentine's type of heart in my work and I started doing a lot of 2-D stuff and sculpture that went up on a wall.

In November of 1999, I recieved a catalog from a Bruce Conner show. In it was a collage entitled Bombhead link to Hearts, image set 3and I could see how a couple of years of ideas could culminate in one piece. I bought a book of photographs of atomic explosions (Yes, there is such a thing and the different bomb blasts actually have names.) and also looked for pictures of sacred hearts and started working on collages. So, in a way Deus Irae is an art about art piece like my Last Supper pieces. And I was also working out a few other ideas that I had.

link to Hearts, image set 4If Christ came back, what would it take to get everyone's attention? It occurred to me that the people who are most offended by my FrogLast Supper and Frogifix pieces interpreted symbols literally. The symbol was the actual thing to them. But religion, like art relies heavily on symbols as symbols. It is very difficult to make people understand spiritual and theological concepts without comparing them to the more familiar things of the material universe. And no, Deus Irae is not a commentary on war and Christianity. It isn't even directly about 9/11since 9/11 hadn't link to Hearts, image set 5happened yet. It was more about the material world and how people think materialistically rather than spiritually . And it was also about time, The Big Here and The Long Now.

I had begun to get the feeling that we were living in a very fast, very shiny and very loud world. Everything seemed to be vying for our attention. Things are given to us in sound bites so that we can get them in less than a minute's time and we are constantly bombarded with information. If Christ link to Deus Iraecame back and wanted our attention he'd have to have rock star status with a stage show that included colored fireworks and noise. Because these days "it's not just about the music, it's about the stage persona and the stage presence and the special effects ". My thinking has changed somewhat since then, but I don't want to give you any ideas. Suffice to say, "Ceci n ´est pas une pipe." And its not even really a picture of a pipe, either.

link to Portfolio of Christ image set 4

I guess what this is all about is that any art form takes time to appreciate, to translate. A symbol is a symbol. It means something else. Art isn't a sound bite. It may appear to be a sound bite at first, just to get your attention. The refrigerator door idea that I mention on the FrogWorld Page applies here. Most artists really do want people to take The Big Here and The Long Now with their work.

Last revised 06 May 2007


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