“Large Coffin/Cage” 1992

Oil on canvas, 84” x 96”. Artist’s collection.

The chicken coups were inspired by the famous photo wreckage of a bus in El Salvador The bus carrying a group of nuns returning from the city after shopping for food.  They had all been raped and murdered.  Later I got the idea of painting a cage in the shape of a coffin.  So I gott some lumber and dowels and built a human sized cage that hung from my studio ceiling as a still life.  That’s the story of this and a few other paintings.  Later Bill Warell of The 9:30 Club and District Curators asked me to design the sets for The E & O Line, an electronic blues opera to be performed at The Lincoln Theater on U Street.   It was a remake of Orpheus & Eurydice set in a crossroads town in the rural south.  Eurydice (described as a beautiful songbird) performed with Orpheus in the town jazz joint.  I decided to gild my coffin/cage  with gold leaf to be use later in the opera as her coffin.  It was for me a very exciting adventure — but alas (even with Sweet Honey & The Rock as The Hsrpies) the show folded when funds ran out.

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