Moments Before Death

A drawing based on Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse

This graphite drawing is processional, but grew from the conceptual frame work of a book I had just read, Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. It can be considered an interpretation of the Magic Theater of the Self, or a collage of remembrances and dreams one sees before they die. It’s filled with many other literary references as well. It won first place at the Tolstedt Drawing Competition at CCAD.

When I began drawing this as a freshman in art school, I told myself what I always had: this will be the greatest work I have ever done. I look at it now and see all the mistakes and lapses in value structure interwoven with manic detail. It’s a testament to how passionately I wanted to overcome my own spiritual and intellectual infancy. I didn’t want to make another piece of highschool surrealism with the same trite visual ques. It felt as though every drawing and poem inched me closer to a threshold of something truly wonderful. Moments Before Death was more or less successful. People can look at it, and see a tangible representation of how I feel. The mind is a torrent of passages and hidden places, and it takes an intense level of focus to render it into something that can be understood and shared by others.