Une Charogne / A Carcass

"...After the last sacraments,
When you go beneath grass and luxuriant flowers,
To molder among the bones of the dead.

Then, O my beauty! say to the worms who will devour you with kisses,
That I have kept the form and the divine essence
Of my decomposed love!

Une Charogne

Charles Baudelaire

The series of “Une Charogne” is a study on the primordial subject of mortality and focuses on the female human body, contrasting our conventional perception of beauty together with the presence of mortality and death. The works present the female nude body in both these conditions (beauty and death), the two contrary conditions of the common human biology.

Τhis series arises from the study of the poem “Une Charogne” by Charles Baudelaire, in this poem, the artist describes to his lover the sight of a dead animal in advanced decomposition. This grim subject is balanced by the harmonious rhythm of the poem, provided that “Une Charogne” is one of the masterpieces of Baudelaire and a landmark for the 19th century literature: this poem has pointed out the ability of poetry (and of arts in general) to recognize and perceive beauty beyond ugliness. This ability, to identify beauty (life) inside and beyond the ugly (death) is contained in this series and defines the making of the artworks

The skeletal system of the body is on the first layer, drawn on plexiglass, with black ink in a pointillistic technique, submitting decay and decomposition. At the same time on a second layer, and in a distance behind the first one, is presented, with white graphite, the same female figure in its live and erotic version. This reverse layering (the skeleton in front of the flesh) and the simultaneous but unified observation of life and death attempts to transcend linear time creating a sense of timelessness or the absence of time. Gold leaf and mat black on the toned paper are coming to support the contrast of these two axes.

In this way, I try to express the existential anxiety that accompanies the subject of death but also the fight for life especially through the function of memory. Death dominates but that is just the first level. The observer can see beyond the first layer of death, life.  Through memory, in a way to “remember” beauty before decay, to find life through and after death.