Icarus

I was recently asked by a friend to enter work in a group show, the show is based loosely upon the theme of disability.  Given my friend had fashioned a lavishly eccentric wheelchair as the centerpiece of the show, I figured I had some creative wiggle room.

My interest was in exploring the very notion of disability and society’s need to “fix” the disabled. This I felt to be a touchy subject, one in which I hadn’t any authority to assert as I am not disabled. I do have a very dear friend who spent much of her life with a disability which later in her life was rectified by surgical procedures. But from listening to my friend I gathered the stigmatization of her condition and the  (over? ) protective concern her parents felt for her, imposed limitations ,physical and emotional, far beyond the constraints of her actual condition.

 In this image I wished to depict the disabled as a beautiful youth who lacked the  conventional wings of his society. I also  wanted to express the complexities of society by using harpy like figures, uncomfortable, a bit haughty, awkwardly watching as he falters.  I have found myself in this position, it has only been with maturity that I have found the will to  greet a wheelchair bound person in the eye. That is a sad fact.

In this image the youth does stumble, his prosthetic feathers have done him little good. Has our attempt to fix him only broken him?

I haven’t clarified all of my thoughts concerning this image or the topic, it is still evolving. Please consider Icarus to be an evolving discussion within my head.

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Icarus

watercolor and gouache on paper

18 by 24 inches

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detail of Icarus and his soul-spirit

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detail of Society

Of course it isn’t much of a stretch to consider Icarus to be an allegory  of other folks that make society squirm, gays, women, people of color, the list goes on an on.

Note to self : stop pigeon-holing.

Until next time, take care,

LG