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.