|PASSAGE THRU TIME (1993), BY ARLESS DAY|
ACQUIRED FROM JERALD MELBERG GALLERY, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, SEPTEMBER 2000
COLLAGE AND GOUACHE ON COMPOSITION BOARD, 13 3/16" BY 20 5/8"
When I first saw this work by Arless Day, the first thought that went through my head was "Wow." Ever since I acquired Seven Birds And An Angel, I have been fascinated with Arless' collages, which are constructed using a combination of images from different sources and an opaque watercolor paint called gouache.
This work is somewhat unusual in two ways. First, it includes a human figure, which Arless usually does not do, and second, it includes an unusually large amount of blue sky.
The rock formation in the background reminds me of Gibraltar, at the southern tip of Spain, or of any of the large rock formations that are found on the coast of the western Mediterranean Sea. This notion is reinforced by the probability that the man depicted in the work is an Arab or Moor... from his attire, you can tell that he is used to living in a hot, desert environment. So, this scene could be taking place in the past, when Spain was under Arab influence... or it could be taking place in the present. The title of this work, Passage Thru Time, makes me think that the man is looking into either the past or the future. Or perhaps it is we who are looking into the past. At any rate, he seems have the demeanor of a very dignified and wise man, someone you'd like to have coffee and share a conversation with.
Arless told me that he used quite a few disparate images to construct this work. For example, the man's hands are from images of football players (you can see the tape wrapped around each wrist). His eyes are taken from two separate images, but they match each other quite well. The rock in the background includes elements from northern Africa, China, and even the Atlantic coast of Canada... you can see a Chinese scaffold, made of bamboo, in front of the rock if you look closely. The list goes on and on... you could stare at this work for hours and find fragments of all kinds of images in it.
Arless has done a masterful job of combining pieces of different images to create a single image of incredible beauty.
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