About the Artwork

I want to think my work is about connection, life, and death/loss. So I put down some thoughts about that stuff. I guess it is what I think about the most when I paint or when I think about whats next.

Connection: My work may express an idea that I have come to embrace, which is the importance of recognizing “connection” in that we are all connected. Knowing and understanding that connection supersedes race, gender, religion, class, wealth and poverty.

Since recognizing that we are always connected I try to make a conscious effort to connect. Connecting to self; others, nature, the moment, the life around us, and life's source/God are all positive connections to make. Expressing this idea of connection was central in the process of painting “Fetus and Bees.”

A part of connecting is coming to terms with oneself. Finding and knowing the truth for you. I in turn, want to share those thoughts without being preachy. So I create a painting like "Your Name Here" sure it's made the religious mad, but it's truth... my truth that I share with you. Now just stop, look, and take it in before you reject it, that's what you do with art... right?

Life: Honestly, it sucks at times and other times life is sucked from you. Most often life is just fine, even enjoyable. My work sometimes places life in uncomfortable viewpoints, as "life" can often become uncomfortable.

My works like "Fetus and Bees" and "Red" places life in an unexpected view. It is important to me that the viewer connects to my work through their own life experiences and emotions finding something in themselves through the viewing. Considering the painting "Red", one may come to the conclusion that the fetus is either being released or rejected from, or perhaps engulfed or embraced by.

At some point in life, we feel all these emotions. The piece "I'm In, You're Out", expresses life caught in the horror of man-made religion that will extract value from life in replace for hate, separation and disconnection.

Loss/Death: Having been faced to deal with death since about age five when my grandmother passed and a number of other family members since. I would like to believe I would know a thing or two about losing a loved one...but I don't. All I know is it hurts. No matter how much you accept and understand that death is imminent... it still fucking hurts!

Sometimes joking about death is a good way to muddle through the feelings, which then often reminds of the fun and funny times. I suppose this is why the skull heads came about, they seem to represent death in an indirect and playful way. I think the skull symbol helps me to be reminded of death in a way I can embrace those thoughts without fear. I believe learning to embrace death is good for living. I like knowing there is an end to this uncomfortable, yet wonderful madness called life.

Thanks for getting this far.

Have Fun. Share Love. Be Grateful.

Tony Merchain