“All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.” -Yeats
The Terrible Hermosa series began as an exploration of my attraction to the visual elements found within ancient mural paintings and ceramic vessels. I found these works to be hermosa or beautiful, yet hidden terrible deities, horrible social consequences and devastating historical narratives are often the subject matter of these works. These terrors are often unrecognizable due to the beautiful line work and obscure iconography attributed to each culture.
The subdued color, shimmery surfaces and languid lines in my work recall a seductive nature, while the abruptness of the shapes, the drips, and the value is the unexpected and the spontaneous which we are often afraid of.
We often associate the beautiful with the comfortable, such as the symmetry of a face. What is terrible for us is the unknown, the unexpected and the strange. However beauty and terribleness can often be inextricably linked. Whole nations of people and exquisite cultures have been created due to terrible acts of colonialism and conquering. The act of birth itself is not wholly beautiful, nor is it wholly terrible, but it is an undeniable mixture of both.
Working on this series I began to contemplate the birth of new culture, the loss of old ways of life, and the remnants that remain to entice us with a longing for some kind of memory of it all.
What is beautiful and what is terrible is not always obvious. The works in this series are an endeavor to realize that the beautiful and the terrible go hand in hand.