During the time that my circle was being destroyed by AIDS, I had a dream of a purgatorial
foundry. It consisted of a vast conveyor belt into the moulten center of the earth, into which souls went
gladly, to be purified by the fire. This fire was not a hell of eternal torment, but a place of purification.
(The poem I wrote about it--from the vantage of a Charon-like figure who mans the conveyor belt--appears
earlier on these pages, under the title "The Foundry".)
At the same time, I painted a number of works on mirror or glass or mirror and glass into which this dream attempted to take form. The earliest of these which survives is this small piece, twelve inches square, painted on a piece of copper colored mirrored tiling. The straight lines are where the mirrored surface appears. My intention was to do a piece which (a) reflected the time of day, which a mirror surely does and (b)a painting in which the viewer may glimpse themselves. A close examination will yield many fiery figures.Also a ladder of mirror among the flames.
Here is a detail.
And this is a closer viewer of the left side.
These were an attempt to transistorize the multiple layer technique of my screen paintings, which are my real center, as well as an attempt to make sense of my dream of the Foundry. Let me add that I do not believe that such a dream is meant to be taken literally. It would pain me to feel that I was consigning my dead to the fire. If anything, these were the fires which I passed through.
(the first painting is 12'x12' and is painted on copper mirrored tile; the second is 8'x 10" and consists of a windowpane painted on two sides backed by a mirror; the following two paintings are 8 x 12" and consist of two window panes painted on both sides backed with a mirror of the same size; the final painting on mirror is 18''x 25")