The Black Box

The Black Box

40" x 50 x 20"

Black Box study_edited.jpg

The Black Box

The Black Box and related works was begun in response to the Maylasian Flight 370, which disappeared in 2014, provoking a massive search effort. My late wife had passed away the year before and that was surely a part of the reason that I felt strongly drawn to respond to this other kind of mysterious and traumatic disappearance. The persistent image/idea here was that there was a ‘black box’ somewhere at the bottom of the Indian Ocean waiting to be found, emitting its signal into the vast inky blackness. It was waiting for its chance to explain everything, to make the mystery go away. It seemed to me that this was a metaphor for the human condition at large. I quickly realized that I had the material means to construct my own Black Box, and after a few false starts, accomplished this by the simplest means, by laying 239 sheets of tar paper (one for all of the people lost) on top of each other. That gave me an approx. 2’ high rectangle. The  need for a  widely recognizable image/symbol for Humanity lead me to Van Eycks version of Adam and Eve, from the Ghent altarpiece; stand-ins for, as Zorba the Greek put it, “the whole catastrophe”. 

The Black Box, overview

The Black Box study, Charcoal on paper

30" x 22"

The Black box, Coda
72" x 50"