Edel Rodriguez
"Heaven", acrylic on paper, 22" x 30"

This is a new painting for an upcoming book from Thames and Hudson titled "Questions and Answers".  It features interviews with a number of artists, their work, and a new piece based on one word.  I was given the word "heaven", which gave me a lot to think about. 

I had no clear direction on where to go, and just began painting and making marks on paper.  Flowers started appearing and then the idea of a beaded curtain emerged as I worked.  I liked the idea of a person being welcomed into heaven and walking through a curtain of lush flowers on their way in.  I cut apart the various pieces and brought them together into the final painting.  

As I worked on this I was reminded of the time when I was with my father in Cordoba, Spain.  It was his first trip to the country and we were walking through "La Mesquita", a very large church in the center of town which at one point in history had been an important mosque.  Within the Arabic architecture there are a number of highly decorated Catholic chapels, with sculptures of saints, realistic paintings of heaven, etc.  I pointed out that Arabic decoration doesn't show any people, that heaven and things of that sort are usually depicted by natural elements such as flowers.  He thought that was such a moving idea.  Having grown up Catholic, this was like an epiphany to him.  I wanted to capture some of those ideas in this painting.

Thanks to Ana Benaroya for putting the project together and for asking me to take part.

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