I call them "Skulduggery", the new digital paintings that you have seen over the past several months. There are perhaps forty or fifty of them, some sixteen fabricated in a new luminous process on plexiglass, and they have absorbed my every waking hour. Most of them are based on the human skull, full frontal or in profile, and they are created as 3D models in CAD/CAM programs. Looking back, here is how they strike me:


Judge us not by our feet

(mine, like aircraft carriers supporting squadrons of ideas)

Nor by our features (especially after salt-laden feasts)

Nor by our fears, which swell in response to the fading daylight

Nor by our twitches, our swishes, our tics or our tremors

But by the thoughts which furnish our minds

The rearranging, in that upper chamber of the body, of yesses and nos, or whys and maybes.

It is in that oval office of skulduggery that we receive all memes, all manner of input, the linchpins of identity.

It is there, in that supreme court of intellect, that the stealth hand of dementia slowly crumples our one-ness and our everyone-ness

And turns understanding to slush.

You can't plea-bargain with old age

Or body-surf your way

Out of Nature's iron-clad verdict.

"Pop" goes that weasel.

It is, after all, Nature's skulduggery that gets us.

Note: Something in these images reminds me of Mayan hieroglyphs: perhaps their description as "tangled visuals" in the fascinating Nova video titled "Cracking the Maya Code". Don't miss it.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2010