Adam and Eve:
The Original Sin of Female Subjugation
92"H x 52"W x 24"D
Plaster and mixed media
The richly-patinated examples of excavated, late Hellenistic Greek bronzes with their haunting, inlaid eyes of alabaster and precious stones have always attracted me. So combined with my recent interest in the widely-hyped, overly-restored painting Salvator Mundi with its dubious provenance and along with an ambivalence regarding most of the sculptural renditions of Adam and Eve, I decided to create Adam and Eve: The Original Sin of Female Subjugation.
I created this piece with a total lack of religious conviction, and only because I feel the story of Adam and Eve could easily be considered the incident-zero, the provenance, for the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, and Matt Lauer.
Like the Jesus figure of the Salvator Mundi with his hand raised in benediction, God’s other son, Adam (in my sculpture), has his hand raised in the same configuration of blessing, while it holds the apple’s symbol of lust during that genesis moment when women were consecrated as the controlled sex.
Also in the Salvador Mundi painting, Jesus holds the globus cruciger (Latin for "cross-bearing orb") as a symbol of authority. Since God’s punishment declares that Eve should, among other penalties, be subjugated to man, my Adam smugly holds the globe of Eve’s ass to assert his newly-acquired, God-given power over her. Eve holds her barely-bitten apple toward God while shielding her face from his anger as she visibly contorts her expression with fear and displeasure for her vindictive parent and her leching partner in this parable of male dominance.
What, other than the abusive nature of a parent (or creator), would prominently display a temptation as bright and shiny as knowledge to an innocent and not expect transgression? For that parent to then bestow an eternal, sexist decree as punishment toward all womankind for that one individual’s sin (in His entrapment disobedience) is wholly vindictive, cruel, certainly not god-like, and sets up a male-dominant precedent that has lasted for two millennia.
As the novel goes, Adam was resident of Eden long before Eve. So it would seem, more than likely, he would have instigated the fruit-tree raid. In my rendition of the story, he is seen with the evidence. While consuming one of the forbidden fruits, multiple, apple-y symbols of desire and lust – merely sampled or fully ravaged – are scattered at his feet, tossed aside, while he grabs Eve’s ass and bends forward to look around her for something better – for the next bit of lustful knowledge or better conquest to come along – as is the case with so many men.
Yes, there was that crafty serpent in Eden. But it was put there by God. Why? For what other reason than to tempt one to sin, to cause Adam and Eve to transgress the fruit-tree commandment they were given. There was no free will for Adam and Eve. This isn’t a temptation story. This is a setup to make sure women know a higher authority has put men in control. This is a story written by a mortal, definitely a male, and in the name of religion to keep women in their place. Women have been fighting this inequality and building towards the Me Too Movement since a male with his serpent-like propaganda thrust inequality upon them in Genesis.
The Duchess Walks the Surf in Cannes
85"H x 28"W x 24"D
Plaster and Mixed Media
My inspiration for the sculpture’s pose was The Birth of Venus by the Italian artist Sandro Botticelli. The myth goes that Venus was born of sea spray. In the famous painting, and the sculptures it fostered, she is usually depicted riding a sea shell. I took “born of sea spray” more literally as, walking in the surf, the Duchess is briefly startled and closes her eyes as the crashing waves strike her legs creating the foam from which she seems to be emerging. For those who have read my book, you will recognize The Duchess of Dett as one of its integral characters drawn from my life.
92"H x 33"W x 24"D
Plaster and Mixed Media
Cupid, the Roman god of love (Eros to the Greeks), and constant companion of Aphrodite, is seen here with a man he has just shot with one of his love arrows. It has lodged next to the first two unsuccessful ones left broken in his chest. At the same time, the man is entangled in a serpent representative of sexual desire and passion in Abrahamic traditions. With his raised dagger, the man must decide whether he will try romantic love for the third time at the hands of Cupid’s misguided match making or if he will succumb to his base, lustful, sexual desires represented by the serpent. He must make a decision. Love or lust? Cupid or serpent? One must die. What Choice will the man make?
75"H x 26"W x 16"D
Plaster and Mixed Media
Nalangu is Maasai meaning “came from far away.” Her pose is one of pride. She made the jewelry that her sculpture wears.