This series began as an exploration of the idea of being trapped between two different states of existence; the physical and the spiritual, ecstasy and agony, childhood and adulthood, success and failure. With the unexpected death of my father in January of 2008, the work shifted directions.
Ironically, most of the landscape photographs that I was using as under-paintings for the series were photographed with my father in south Florida. Most of the photographs are of the Everglades, an area of Florida that I grew up exploring. It was this representation of my past, paired with the actual painting process of the present, which remained consistent within the series and signified the differences between the two different states of existence.
Purgatory #1, #2, and #3 were done before he died. When I returned to south Florida for his funeral, I spent many days sitting in my parent’s house, staring at three photographs that I had taken of the Everglades. Purgatory #4 was done not long after I returned home from the funeral, while Purgatory #5-#11 were all done six months after his death. The process of making the images was a way of working through the grief of losing someone I loved. The underlying concept of being trapped between two states of existence remained, however the concept shifted to being trapped between wonderful memories of the times I had spent with him and the terrible reality of life without him.