Today’s blog is different in two significant ways- 1. The artwork was not created digitally and 2. It’s not about something fun.
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a Christian and that part of me plays a major role in this piece of artwork. Beelzebub is a Hebrew name that translates “Lord of the Flies”, and it can be synonymous with Satan although it doesn’t have to be.
When you think about how flies behave the title “Lord of the Flies” seems quite apropos of a devil. I mean buzzing around and annoying people, eating and living on crap, occasionally biting and whenever possible carrying deadly disease. Add to that an annoying ability to get into almost anywhere and you have a pretty devilish insect (not to be anthropomorphizing anyone).
If you’re not a Christian then we disagree, but I’m sure that you can relate to the ideal of someone that absolutely annoys you and seems to be trying to trip you up in everything you do. I am not the sort of Christian that thinks there is a demon behind every bush or that any human needs a devil to help them get up to devilish things, but I do believe that, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Before I give you the context of the creation of this piece I want to give you a little of the artist’s statement. The man represented is not the Lord of the Flies. He is loosely based on me (because I’m a cheap model) and is meant to have some realistic detail without being a specific person- he’s anyone. The screen in the background represents his personal internal defenses and is warped and damaged from use.
During the day, I work in an in school suspension room and last week was the week before our spring break. Well let me tell you that last Thursday was a hard one! I had to deal with angry students and angry parents and at the end of the day when I get to do art in an after school program none of the students showed up and I cut myself on broken glass. When I got home, my wife had had a horrible day and we went to dinner to relax and my son spilled everything he could reach and when we got to the gym he cried the whole time my wife got to swim. I know those were two run on sentences, but that was a very run on day. I don’t blame Beelzebub for any of it, but boy was it annoying.
This image came from that day. After the hardest part of the school day, when a troubled student was removed, I had a moment to breathe, and I saw a simple anonymous drawing. I don’t know who made it, but it immediately caught my eye as having some of the same feelings that I had at that moment and I set out to do my interpretation. It felt good to draw, but to get to the final image was arduous. This piece could be a visual representation of my goal “to fail until I succeed.”