Idol, ‘18
Idol is made from the memory of someone I met during a weeklong psych in-patient stay. She arrived at the ER the morning after me, and we waited two more days before being assigned to the same hospital. I admired how freely she expressed her emotions. She cried frequently, yelled when she wanted to, and burst with joy when her family visited. The colors in the throat area loosely represent chakras; the composition is based on Odilon Redon’s painting The Window from 1907. Dried rose buds decorate the base, and an arc of cut Joss paper (used as burnt offerings in Chinese ancestral worship). The painting was intended as an altar to wish this stranger well, a visualized loving-kindness meditation. It embraces goodwill steeped in mysticism and exposes my habit of idolizing strangers.