This painting, The Devil Made Me Do It, was done for the Rourke Art Museum’s annual Midwestern Invitational Art Exhibit, and was based on the theme, “What Would Dante Do?”. Dante, as you may know, was a 13th Century poet, who wrote among others, “The Divine Comedy”. This poem consisted of 3 parts, the first describing Dante’s travels through the 9 circles of Hell. This describes how Dante must change his immoral ways in order to see Paradise.
My painting shows Dante in Hell, bound and tortured by Satan. Dante feels the heat and must change his ways or join them in eternal damnation. The devil is a stereotypical Satan, with goat hooves, horns and tail. He points his sharp claw at Dante, accusingly questioning him, or perhaps making him do something. The devil made him do it. Dante is standing with his hands bound behind him. White rays emanate from his head, similar to Satan’s horns. He looks at Satan’s finger, unbearably close, and must decide, “What should I do?”
The Dante figure could be seen as a self-portrait on my part. Balding, overweight and immoral, I must change my ways… As I was painting this piece, one night at exactly midnight, a plastic skull I keep on a shelf, fell to the floor and scared the “devil” out of me, so to speak. My old heart cannot handle such things, you know!
Award: Honorable Mention