There are two things to appreciate about this piece.
First, that is Mad Maxine and she is just so adorable, with so much spirit. The way she grabs her little tuft-of-eel-grass-perch in the wastelands says everything about who she is, and who she believes she is. She has proved a tough character to pay proper tribute to. It took weeks of observation, then weeks of execution, and I’m still not sure I’ve got her right.
But second, this image is a big milestone; because, technically, it does not exist.
Playing With Fire measures in at an astounding 13 feet tall. Essentially, there is no technology which could currently render it, no screen which could display it, and no machine which could print it. In fact, the only way we even know that it even “is” is by grabbing at it in small bits, in the darkness, interpreting them, and painstakingly miniaturizing and assembling them. This process took forever, and the picture you see above was certainly interesting to behold once complete, but still… what does the real image look like? Are we even supposed to see it?
Art is many things, but first it is surely a process of creation. That process usually takes the form of having some invisible vision and bringing it forth to make it real in some way so we can experience and perhaps share it. But then, what is it if we are taking a real vision, and creating something of it not in the perceivable world, but instead in some invisible place, and at a scale and a complexity beyond our own ability to experience or perceive it, let alone share it? And what do we then call the process by which we take that something we created in reverse, from the real world to the nonexistent world, a creation that essentially does not exist, and then bring that forth so we can then experience it and share it? What happened to the original thing during the transformation? Is the thing now better, or worse, or worst yet, is it now something dangerous, something which should be forbidden? Is this Maxine rising from The Pet Semetary?
These questions are beyond me so the answers are certainly beyond me. All’s I know is I feel like I should never do this again… which makes me sure that I will.