Come Back, 36”h x 48”w, oil on canvas © 2008, Anthony Joseph Mezza
Come Back, was meant as a depiction/interpretation of my wife rising up to catch Kathleen’s spirit as it ascends into heaven and out of our world. The doctors and nurses below try desperately to bring my wife back down to earth in a struggle to get the living spirit grounded and the fallen’s spirit into heaven. My wife is screaming out “come back!” to the baby, while the doctors and nurses cry for her to come back.
Although, on the most personal level, this depiction is based on my experience with tragedy, I suspect others will relate, and see their own personal experiences with death, birth and struggle. The end result of these works, as much as they were created for a specific purpose, seem to be open to various interpretations. Much like the interpretation of a poem or musical lyric, the viewer can see and take from it what they will. Whether it is a better understanding of an unknown pain and tragedy, or one in which the viewer can truly relate to, it is in this emotional realm we can all walk together.
Fall, 36”h x 36”w, oil on canvas © 2008, Anthony Joseph Mezza
Where as Come Back depicts my wife’s rise to catch Kathleen's spirit, this painting depicts myself, and the fall of my spirit into a dark and angry place.
Since this work is a combination a various sketches from over the years, I wondered why I would always illustrate my hand so large. Perhaps it was to show myself as the strong father figure, able to handle tragedy for my family and self. Sadly, the reality of that day was the exposure of my frality and weakness in a time of sudden and brutal loss. I did not pass out or literally fall, but internally, my spirit was leveled to the ground.
I also remember a fallen green leaf photo attached to our door to designate that a child had passed. The symbol of that leaf, and others, fall from the "sky" as those around me try and pull me back up.
Silent, 36”h x 48”w, oil on canvas © 2008, Anthony Joseph Mezza
This painting was completed on September 3rd, 2008. In my memories of her buriel, I remember a cold surreal day with flashbacks of the delivery. Of doctors and nurses drifting around us as we mourned and prepared ourselves mentally.
Oddly, during her actual delivery, I recall seeing her burial in my mind. I remember thinking that we would soon be at her funeral. Silent is a depiction of both these events, intersecting and overlapping each other.
As with the obvious, and not so obvious interpretations here, what struck me the most after I painted the shadows on the headstone, is that they formed the letter “K”. Perhaps a subconscious tribute to our daughter Kathleen.
Four, 36" x 36", Oil on canvas 2008 Anthony Joseph Mezza
Having the opportunity to witness four deliveries I consider a true blessing. Although one of ours was a still birth, the two healthy births that proceeded it, and the one that followed, crisscross in my mind. "Four" is a tribute to all of them and express my feelings of how they are all connected to one another, mentally, spiritually and lovingly.