If She Had Just Let It Go

"It is better to be a child of God than king of the whole world." 

-St. Aloysius Gonzaga

mixed media on canvas (oil, aluminum foil, & playing cards)
40 x 30 in

At the end of our lives, however much worldly power, recognition, possessionsmoney, or pleasure we may have accumulated will pale in comparison to however much love we had in our hearts, and we will find that all those earthly assets did nothing to help us attain Heaven- instead, they helped us lose it. For as much as one gains the whole world, one loses his/her life. In the end, we would have done anything to have given up the royalty of the world to have just been simple children of God.    

This painting attempts to depict the spiritual harm caused by so great an attachment to the world, and the suffocating results it can have on the human soul. A troubled, helpless girl stands clutching a mess of darkened, charred items. This collection represents the world: foil, playing cards, and leaves are all coated with black- this symbolizes that what appeared shiny and attractive in this world did not actually satisfy; that the desire to be "kings" and "queens" of this world was both dangerous and futile; and that what was originally full of life was taken for granted. Yet if this girl had just let go of her attachment to this world, she just may have had a chance in the world to come. As a result of her refusal to let go, her fingers, too, began turning black. She is also crowned with a dark, wiry crown, since she chose worldly royalty. The smoky, distressed, and oily background underscores the spiritual results of what she holds, and it replaces the vibrancy and beauty that could have been hers. Her intense, yet harmless gaze looks right at the viewer, as if warning him/her not to make the same mistake. Yet, she also appears seemingly innocent- this subtlety reveals that deepen within us all is a child, who would have much rather been considered lowly and nothing in the eyes of the world, knowing that he/she will be royalty in Heaven. For a child of God is also a child of a King.