Last March I was reading the latest issue of Marie Claire, a fashion magazine. In one article I was horrified to read about a boat that sank with 850 Syrian refugees aboard. I was struck by the distance between the advantaged life of the journal’s readership and the desperate immigrants seeking asylum. In remembrance, I made a cilice embellished with 850 teardrop briolettes, each marking a drowned refugee.
A cilice is a horsehair garment worn next to the skin for the mortification of the flesh in penance.
This is Somnambulist #3, the third self-portrait I’ve done wearing the cilice in my studio. Sometimes I feel like a sleepwalker unable to awaken and change the world in any significant way. It’s all so impossible. So I seek my easel.