Ecce Homo

13.7 x 21.6 cm . Watercolor with Dr. Ph. Martin’s bleed-proof white . 2022

This is a prelude to the big “dog whistle” painting that’s taking a while to complete.

2022 has gifted me with the worst case of tinnitus ever. It feels like a gin tonic is bubbling inside my skull along with the sound! Woohoo! Good thing I’ve gotten so used to it that it already feels like something’s wrong when not there. It wakes me up at night, perhaps to remind me that I’ve still got work to do.

This painting was in my drawer for a long time, because every time I looked at it, I’d go ‘yuck’, affirm the lost cause, and shove it back in. After some time, recalling what it “was” made me want to dig it up to show the world how sometimes all your best intentions and hard work turn to shit anyway. 

Then sometime in November 2022 when I performed the ritual again, I couldn’t find anything wrong with it anymore. In fact, I really liked it. THE HORROR! THE HORROR! Is there something wrong with me now? Or was there something wrong with me then? Who knows.

Sure, some minor retouches were needed here and there, and it would be wabi-sabi! Perfectly imperfect! After the dude in the middle was repainted, I am basking in this whole black metal / esoteric vibe that’s going on. All sorts of Occult! Yeah!

The greatest thing about being in my 40s is how all the braincells I don’t need any more are finally dying, so there’s a lot more energy for the things that matter. Like with this painting, all these dead ends are coming together under a new light to become possibilities. And what of failure? We win, we lose, we still die.

Now that it’s been improved, I like how this work is a combination of the past and the present. In a way it’s like I rode a Time Machine back to 2019 and told my past self to prepare for something epic.

 “Ecce Homo”? 

It means “Behold the Man”. I don’t care about all this gender inclusive, politically correct blablabla. The HU-MAN. The fucking universe that is in each individual’s mind churning and burning in its perpetual quest for meaning. And yet there’s still a tribe in Madagascar with no concept of the great beyond. To them it’s all about meat. Behold the ginormous question mark of existence. 

The purely definitive factor of “art” is that it is MAN-made. Man defines art, art defines man. Chicken and egg. We are the only species that makes it with the intent of sentient composition, for no particular purpose but self-expression. 

Of course this work is about Jesus! It’s about that Jesus fresco that ended up looking like a baked potato thanks to an elderly parishioner’s Dunning-Kruger effect. Joking aside, It’s really a small tribute to Johfra Bosschart’s “Ecce Homo: Behold the Mandragora” + a little Visshudha floating around somewhere.

Here’s to you Johfra!