I Am

I Am

Marie-Aude St. Michel

Death observes – Life preserves.

Death wanders – Life does wonders.

Humanity bears a crown of thorns 

But every human remains freeborn.

 – Marie-Aude Saint Michel

The Manifesto series echoes the current worldwide new dimension: that of permanent potential terrorism and the low-grade sensation everyone experiences that they may lose their life or that of a beloved anywhere they live or travel to at any time. The tension is almost palpable in certain places. A strange mix of fear and the urge to live float in the air of those that were physically hit by contemporary terrorism. Yet, life must go on and the best opposition to terror is precisely to carry on living as we wish to and lead a normal life.

Every painting has three levels of reading: the obviously visible at first; second, the invisible becoming visible; lastly, the symbols hidden in the work. This echoes reality: there’s what we see and what exists on other levels. It is up to everyone to see and interpret as they wish and feel. All that matters is inner freedom.

First level of reading: two dark entities symbolizing death (the Reaper on the right side) and finitude (the End on the left side) watch over the sparkle of life.

Second level of reading: two golden silhouettes symbolize hope and faith in the center. They surround a face, crowned with a crown of thorns. A golden drop falls from his face.

Third level of reading: the crown and the golden tear. The word, sanglant (bloody) can be read on the right side of the painting, in front of Death.

The French anthem is handwritten vertically underneath the silhouettes :

“Allons enfants de la patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé, contre nous de la tyrannie, l’étendard sanglant est levé… Aux armes!” (Arise, you children of the Fatherland, The day of glory has arrived, against us, tyranny raised its bloodiest banner… To arms, citizens!)

Acrylic, gold paint & plastic

Can be displayed as a diptych with FREE FOREVER

70 x 50 in. (178 x 127 cm.)