Madonna on the Wall

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When I was at Bard College, I cut a massive stencil of the Pieta, the Virgin Mary cradling the dead Jesus after he was taken down from the cross. It was meant to be sprayed in 5 colors: navy blue for Mary’s robe, three shades of beige for the skin, white for Jesus’s loincloth, and black for the shadows, all set on a deep red background. The cutting took more than 8 hours, it consisted of 4 pieces of 3×4 poster board stuck together, plus 4 separate stencils, each on one piece of 3×4 board, for Jesus’ arm and legs. It took 2 people to move. I used a picture of Michaelangelo’s statue for the source image. I only ever sprayed it once, as a test, with only one color. When I went to paint the full color version on a wall in a dorm basement, I got halfway through the first layer when the director of Residence Life came through the door. Needless to say, the stencil was lost in the resulting avalanche of drama.

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~ by Josh on January 12, 2008.

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