I was born a Catholic and went to a Roman-Catholic primary school, where I got familiar with Bible stories. These stories would recur in the local (Filipino) Roman Catholic Church youth gatherings, which occurred during Mass for those who were too young to follow Mass. Great cultural and moral upbringing was given to me.
Somewhere along the way, late childhood, early teens, I gained an interest in becoming a ‘bad boy’. Kleptomania, arsonery, you name it. After more than a decade of of this behaviour, I learned that bad boy shit don’t pay off.
And so I’m reading the Bible entirely for the first time, some pages every evening before I’m going to sleep. Currently working through the Old Testament, 2 Kings.
There is a lot of morality in there, which is not a bad thing per se. Morality has gotten a bad rep but it’s morality that divides men and beasts. I think I need that to become a well-rounded person. I do better when I have some rules to work with, some limits as to what I can and can not do. Some boundaries.
One of the boundaries which I’m struggling with is one of the Commandments: To not make an image of a human or an animal. In school I was taught to sculpt an antropomorph, draw a portrait, and so on. An interest for the contours of the human head developed. I got okay at it. Portrait painting has become my go-to subject when it comes to birthday presents, business, et cetera.
However, I am often not entirely fulfilled by the resulting portraits. So this year I have mainly decorated texts; I must admit I like the current style, the possibilities, the overlap with the literary, the lyrical and the poetic:
So I think it’s time to stop making portraits, stop taking selfies and follow not only what I think should be my beliefs, but also a new interest.
Follow your heart man! Mature!
I already have two commissions for portraits running, but I hope the commissioners will accept a text-based alternative. I know both of them pretty well so I think I should explain it to them well enough and deliver quality.
Your man Mark Dumanon