Colossi is a series of paintings that I exhibited at the Shelter in Place Gallery, Boston, in May 2020. Artist Eben Haines created Shelter in Place, a 1:12 scale model gallery, for artists to exhibit "large-scale" work during lockdown. To further play with the idea of scale, I created several small paintings of colossal statues for my exhibition.
From colossal ancient statues to grand cinematic scenes, artists keep making images of larger than life figures. Yet in our Anthropocene epoch, we are experiencing the downside of a human-centered universe in which our enormousness (and the enormity of our behavior) depletes or threatens all else. I’m interested in how and why size impresses us and what the enjoyment of large-scale imagery says about us. These “colossus” paintings are images about big images, and the image makers who make them. Is the colossus—an enormous statue much bigger than life size—a product of human folly, or ego, or wish fulfillment? Perhaps colossi reveal the discrepancy between how we’d like to be perceived and how meek and fragile we really are.
All installation photographs are courtesy of Shelter in Place Gallery.