Just as I wrote the title of this post it reminded me that I still really want to see Behind The Candelabra, the HBO movie with Michael Douglas playing Liberace. As Liberace says, "Too much of a good thing is wonderful." Back to the Candalas. Many people have told me that when they saw these they thought I was just playing around. And I was. I mean, that's how it started.
I was working on a piece for a client that involved painting on boxes of candy with no need for the contents. When I removed all of the candy and saw all of that wonderfully colorful sugary stuff in the container, I didn't want to eat it. I wanted to make some art with it! And immediately I turned back to my old friend the Mandala.
According to Wikipedia, Mandalas are: Mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल Maṇḍala, 'circle') is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the Universe. (There is much more to know, but for the sake of brevity, that's a start.)
Years ago I had heard about Mandalas- the kind that are made in sand by Tibetan Buddhist Monks that take days to create and then are blown away to the show the impermanence of life. Ever since then I have been fascinated with Mandalas and the concept of impermanence and have used them in my process or my work.
So, it seemed only natural to use the candy to create a mandala! The candy is like the sand and I arrange it onto a piece of paper. My photographer friend comes over to shoot them and then poof, they are gone! Only the photograph remains.
I really see these as sacred as well as silly and fun. The candy- it's on one hand so innocuous and child-like and yummy, and on the other hand it's just junk food full of artificial colors and wax and who knows what. I like that dichotomy. The mandala is like a prayer, a meditation, a divine design, a portal to the wisdom of the universe. The two coming together create a third thing- something totally different, making the profane sacred, the delicious divine, the enticing now exquisite.
Let me know what you think of these mandalas. I'd love to know! Oh yes, and they are all available for purchase in my SHOP!