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Dead Lovers #3

Dead Lovers #3


Artist: Mekia Machine


Details: Acrylic Gouache & Acrylic On Canvas


Year: 2022


Measurements: 28" x 36"




Notes: Dead Lovers is a series of paintings consisting of a single image, the headless body of a woman wading in water. In actuality it is of a naked swimmer photographed from below, head above water. The image, at first glance, triggered memories and questions of the death of my childhood best-friend and first love, what happened to her body? She drowned 23 years ago trying to come to America illegally. Compositionally, each painting represents a snapshot of memories at once, reading like the pattern of my habitual rumination--a single issue or thought reexamined to no end in my mind. The overlapping and falling, floating and dissipating of the body is the awful question I ask inwardly, of how did it happen? How did she fall? Where is she now? How does it look? What happened to her body? I was 11 years old when I saw her last before migrating to the US. I don't remember her face enough to paint it. However, I remember her body and how it felt, so drawing on a memory of a feeling, and my increasing obsession with painting dead people-- family, friends, ancestors who've died leaving photographic evidence of their existence, over time an image emerges in my mind, at times triggered by a portrait. Allowing myself to sit with these painful thoughts of her brutal death contrasted with memories of a simple yet colorful life as island girls, I could finally mourn her. This series is an attempt to resurrect and spend time with an old friend as we did as kids.

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