Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dia de los Muertos

zdepski's day of the dead piece for steve hornbaker, close-up

zdepski's day of the dead piece for steve hornbaker, close-up

Day of the Dead - Dia de los Muertos
I finished the piece and delivered it. The show's opening is on Friday with dancers and music from Mexico. I was able to work through some heavy stuff making this piece, including revisiting the poem I wrote when I learned of Steven's murder.

The final piece is made of the poplar box provided by the Shenandoah Art's Council, 1/8 inch birch plywood, silk flowers, 60lb fishing line, 3 springs and a modified paint brush. I used three colors of paint (pallet has more): white, purple and clear opalescent. The writing is with a sharpie and cut back in with paint. In the lower jaw, three paint tubes and two brushes are to be placed.

The hardest part was carving. Each bone had to be made and bound together with fishing line. The easel and bench are made just as doll furniture, tiny mortises and bevels - all removable. I tried to be as true to "hand-made" and Folk Art as I could, avoiding manufactured props.

Requiem for Steven Hornbaker

We painted in Spring, landscapes before us
Skull grinned back from your canvas
Rose thorns dripping blood, Houses of the Holy

Mommy left lives ago, her stomach wrenches
With news, eight hundred miles
“Baby’s now stillborn, sucking air”

The bullet entered your arm
You gaze heavenward like St. Sebastian
Porcelain doll face, ruby lips gasp

How you cough like your father’s cancer
No strength to clear the slop
Look at the shooter’s face

Swooping scythe separates you from little Brielle
Will she know your dreams, our dreams for you?
Dragon’s whisper, icy embrace

Staring at life dripping on Naugahyde
Steering wheel leaving the lines of Ash Wednesday
THREE, FOUR, FIVE shots shatter ribs, new shirt

Sleepy gaze, eyes half shut
Valkyrie carry you from the battlefield
Your side losing, Arrogance vs. Lead

Pierced lungs, drown your summer’s breath
Tearing your heart, you glimpse the heaven
You seek in smoke

Tuxedo, white shirt, bow tie, no holes
Die with your boots on, don’t cry
Grinning obituary, so happy to be dead

--paul zdepski

Oct 23, 2010
Winchester Star:
Paul Zdepski in the Winchester Star Newspaper with his Dia de los Muertos sculpture.