Red - PremonitionWhite - ActualityBlue - Aftermath

At the start of 2001, I began having dreams of women carrying torsos. Approaching the women, I would ask them for these decomposing remains, usually of their sons. I would explain that I needed to take the torsos back to my studio. It was an awkward question, but nobody said no.

By 2001 I had painted over one hundred works depicting actual events as well as national myths involving famous — sometimes nefarious — Americans. I felt not only ready but an urgent need to take on the most seminal event of our nation’s history: the American Civil War. I would use the Civil War as a metaphor for the endless futility of all wars. I would paint the work from the inside of Clara Barton’s mind: It would be her flashbacks, her memories and nightmares, if they were to come crashing back all at once. The painting would be in three parts: RED — premonition; WHITE — actuality; BLUE — aftermath. I would also employ the two medieval depictions of hell: RED for fire, WHITE for ice, thus combining time and temperature.

To continue, click the links to the left.