(1) I love matches. I love the blue of the Ohio Blue Tip Match. I love the possibility of conflagration hidden in the simple stability of a matchstick. And I love the transition between phases...from stability to turbulence and back to stability in a matter of seconds...of a match scratched on an old pair of jeans. I love thinking about how one match relates to the other and can influence the other by a transfer of possibility in passing along its flame.
(2) I had no endpoint in the composition of this painting. I started with a painting of a couple of matches. The painting offered its own direction. I followed.
(3) The self portrait of the jester atop his staff, staring back at himself. The incendiary head of a match atop a pine stick.
(4) What started as a couple of matches arranged as a traditional trompe l'oeil painting has moved in the direction of a meditation on the myth of Prometheus...transgression against the rule of the gods to bring not only fire but also fundamental knowledge in the form of the technology of the alphabet and number to humanity.
(5) The essential character of transgression/disruption and the punishment meted out by the established system in relationship to the challenge to its established structure by the transgressor:
"This, then, is the true basis for the respect shown to flame: if the child brings his hand close to the fire his father raps him over the knuckles with a ruler. Fire, then, can strike without having to burn. Whether this fire be flame or heat, lamp or stove, the parents' vigilance is the same. Thus fire is initially the object of a general prohibition; hence this conclusion: the social interdiction is our first general knowledge of fire. What we first learn about fire is that we must not touch it. As the chile grows up, the prohibitions become intellectual rather than physical; the blow of the ruler is replaced by the angry voice; the angry voice by the recital of the dangers of fire, by the legends concerning fire from heaven. Thus the natural phenomenon is rapidly mixed in with complex and confused items of social experience which leave little room for the acquiring of an unprejudiced knowledge.
"Consequently, since the prohibitions are primarily social interdictions, the problem of obtaining a personal knowledge of fire is the problem of clever disobedience. The child wishes to do what his father does, but far away from his father's presence, and so like a little Prometheus he steals some matches." (Gaston Bachelard, The Psychoanalysis of Fire, p. 11)