I grew up as a Mormon. Years ago when I was re-investigating the Church I first learned about the the Church's belief that in the next life the saved are to become Gods. I was watching a video of a man who had quit the church because “he couldn’t believe that he a mortal man could become a god.” But I was intrigued by the idea. What would we be like if we could become Gods? A year later I learned there as a word for the idea: apotheosis. I was fascinated that such an epic transformation could be captured by one single word.
My first thought was that in heaven as gods we would be young and beautiful. But then I thought of Gods in Greek and Roman art. Old statues show men in togas with curls and stoic frozen looks. My view of heaven is much more fun and lighthearted. These gods would be doing cartwheels and splits. They would not be perfectly exquisite; they would have bobble heads way too big for their bodies. The backgrounds of my paintings are inspired by the work of Sandro Botticelli. They are elegant theatrical backdrops with trees and flowing leaves.
In order to transport the viewer into this heavenly scene, I decided to create a panorama of sorts by wrapping the gallery room with paintings. The show will include five 4x8 foot paintings as well as a couple smaller ones.
I hope that the viewer will be charmed by the concept of apotheosis. While the belief is controversial I believe it lighthearted and grand. I hope that this show helps the viewer to think for one second, “What if we are gods in the next life?http://shellwhiting.blogspot.com/2014/0 ... -1005.html