"Revelation 6: 1-2" is the result of my year-long thesis project, "The Four Portlanders of the Apocalypse." It is as much a tribute to my city as commentary on the tumultuous relationship between faith and reason. The entire project is my own interpretation of "The Revelation to John," perhaps the most divisive book of the Bible.
I conceived of the riders as representatives of communities or political forces I see in Portland. Whether they embody good or bad is entirely dependent upon the morals and beliefs of the viewer. So while I chose to represent what I love about Portland, I picked groups that I know aren't always as well accepted in other parts of the country. Each rider is meant to be an archetype, and the building behind them is just one of the places in Portland associated with the community.
The white rider, Conquest, is the first of the four horsemen. The idea of this rider going out to conquer reminded me of the modern day myth of the gay agenda, bandied about by those who believe that anything other than condemnation is promotion of homosexuality. Personally I think it is foolish to believe that sexual orientation is anything other than natural, and I'm glad to live in a city with a thriving and supportive gay community. Embers, in the background, is one of Portland's best known gay clubs.
Just as the horsemen of the Bible work to bring about a New Jerusalem, the riders I envisioned have set out to create their own heaven on earth. The white rider seeks to create a world where homosexuality is not called a disease, and equal rights are available to same-sex couples who wish their bond to be recognized by government and society. The red rider seeks parity with man -- a world where pay and promotions are doled out equally, and everyone has the freedom to chose their life path regardless of gender. The black rider seeks to bring about social justice. In his world Government and corporations respect humankind, and cruelty and war are eliminated. The green rider seeks to cleanse the planet. Her world is free from pollution, and harmony with nature is achieved. Individually they may look like average people, but united they represent a greater transformative force.
This print was conceived and created over a four month period with a single woodblock. That one woodblock was carved and printed three times to create successive layers of color. In the end, I am left with a woodblock so reduced that it cannot be used to re-print anything except the final color. (In this case the dark blue-grey.) Reduction is one of my favorite printing techniques because of the challenges it presents. Carving must be carefully planned and executed because once a section of the block is gone, it is gone. Each layer of ink affects the color printed over it. Oil based inks also build up, giving the final layers texture and sheen.
BFK Rives white paper, oil-based ink. Edition size of 7, signed and numbered. Block size 14 x 18 inches, paper size 21.5 x 25". Please note, print #1 is only available as part of a framed set, contact me if you are interested in the set.)
Ships carefully rolled in a wide tube via first class or priority mail.
Please note, the black bar around the image is NOT part of the print. It is included in my photo to help the eye grasp the proportions of the overall print.