If art is the window to ones soul, then a persons background ads an element of interest to their art. Dr. Jack Kevorkian is most well known for his role in assisting suicides. He has garnered the name Dr. Death. There have been many articles and even shows on Kevorkian, but today we will look at a different side, artwork. Jack enrolled in art classes in the 60’s. He combined a fascination with death with his knowledge of anatomy to create works that are both eery and captivating.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s Artwork and descriptions are from http://www.pbs.org
Every person is physically a part of the fabric called humanity, which is –unilaterally– bedizened with all kinds of nobel epithets and arbitrary virtues. On the contrary, the pervading spirit is, and always was, a miasma of distrust and suspicion, periodically accentuated by hate and outright mayhem and murder. Despite effusive lip service to sublime ideals, humanity’s awe is lavished on its real god, Satan, whose suzerainty and leering confidence are sustained by his loyal subjects throughout the world –in Bosnia, Somalia, Ireland, India, the Middle East, Haiti, Cuba, Tibet, South Africa — and Waco.
This is one of an original series of paintings (now lost) concerning various medical signs and symptoms. It depicts the great discomfort of intense bodily heat. The inferno is internal; and in some tragic cases even the will to live is charred.
The Gourmet (War)
What is war? Is it a soldier dying, or guns, or bombs, or crosses, or weeping mothers, or sport, or patriotism, or valor, or high paying jobs? What is war? Not hell. For that is merely evil. War is worse than evil. It is mind-boggling suicide –mass suicide– with humankind devouring or trying to devour itself. In vain attemps to assuage some sort of weird, innate (and apparently insatiable) appetite nurtured by our true and beloved God, Mars, we will not settle for less than the “flower of evolution” as the main course, embellished by bountiful side dishes and fanciful shakers filled with the “fruits” of our marvelous hands and big starving brains. How long will we persist in this lethal nonsense? How long before we really believe that salvation lies not in an insane paradox fostered by brute and selfish gluttony, but in the far more “nutritious” and healthful viand in the sadly neglected garden of human compassion and understanding? Considering the status of brotherhood today, possibly too long.
Nearer My God to Thee
This depicts how most human beings feel about dying — at least about their own deaths. Despite the solace of hypocritical religiosity and its seductive promise of an after-life of heavenly bliss. Most of us will do anything to thwart the inevitable victory of biological death. We contemplate and face it with great apprehension, profound fear, and terror. Sparing no financial or physical sacrifice, pleading wantonly and unashamedly, clutching any hope of salvation through medicine or prayer. How forbidding that dark abyss! How stupendous the yearning to dodge its gaping orifice. How inexorable the engulfment. Yet, below are the disintegrating hulks of those who have gone before; they have made the insensible transition and wonder what the fuss is all about. After all, how excruciating can nothingness be?
Very Still Life
The message here, though somewhat capricious, nebulous and indefinable, is clearly underscored by intense feeling. Brilliant colors highlight the melancholoy age-old balance between the warmth of life and the iciness of death, spiced with the sardonic humor of irony. The disquieting mood portends inescapable doom for the frail symbol of individual life and seemingly callous extinction of its evanescent aura. The age-old balance is certainly skewed.