"It is better to be a child of God than king of the whole world."
-St. Aloysius Gonzaga
At the end of our lives, however much worldly power, recognition, influence, possessions, 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- if not used for our sanctification- did nothing to help us attain Heaven, but instead 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 coated with black symbolizes how that which appeared shiny and attractive in this world did not actually satisfy; blackened playing cards symbolize how the desire to be "kings" and "queens" of this world was both dangerous and futile; and black leaves symbolize how what was originally full of life was taken for granted. Yet if this girl had just let go of her attachment to the 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, begin turning black. She is also crowned with a dark, wiry crown, since she indeed chose royalty but of the wrong kind. 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 deep within us all is a beloved child. Yet her countenance holds an interesting dichotomy: if the viewer covers one side of the face, one would see that the right side of her face appears very childlike and radiates with light, while the left side appears morbid, murky, and exasperated. This paradox is truly the inner battle taking place within each soul who belongs to God yet becomes a slave to the world. In the end, that inner child 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.
mixed media on canvas (oil, aluminum foil, playing cards, & artificial leaves)
40 x 30 in