February 17, 2023
The piece conveys mystery, emotional trauma, and provocative sexual awakening. At its base is a photograph I took more than 20 years ago of my best friend following a wrestling match between us. As he laid there on the floor beneath me, I had my camera close enough that I was able to grab it and capture the moment. His face is obscured by a streak of blue dappled with the opalescence of a fire opal burning in the light. For me, this piece exposes a vulnerable, tender memory that I've relived daily since it happened. This year, I've decided to relive it no more by writing it out and letting it go. The memory became the novel, Damn Boy George & Thanks for the Heartbreak!
In the artwork, two additional photos are used from Unsplash, photo credits to James Giddins and David Libeert, for texture and symbology: the Union Jack image was inserted to pay homage to Boy George, while the image of Jesus, torn away from the metal substrate, is representative for Christianity’s affect on people, the distorted dogma, and the loss of Jesus’s one true goal – unification between people through love.
Ideas of morally right and wrong actions and behaviors are misconstrued and manipulated to serve individual purposes and fears. Lives are ruined for ambiguous meanings in a book that has been edited, mistranslated, and used to commit sins that clearly miss the message of Christ. Above all else, love one another.
Additionally, the lyrics to Culture Club’s top song, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me, add depth and meaning to the piece as they further connect Boy George to the story, but also cast intrigue onto the model. The lyrics suggest that the boy in the photo is hurting our main character, but the mystery behind the story leads us to ask who is hurting who?