The Divine Journey 2008 - 2014
I was born an Italian – American with a Catholic background, but I grew up straying from most religious ideology. As the years passed, I had been influenced greatly by the philosophy of good and evil and battled in my mind the concept of punishment and reward and the idea of the need to suffer for one's sins, which is a prevalent theme in Catholicism. Also, the ultimate question of death with the existence of Heaven and Hell in the afterlife came into my subconscious.
One observation that I made was that religious symbolism can be a strong and powerful presence in people’s everyday lives. And in the Christian faith, the depiction and definition of angels, in their winged form shown in most art and sculpture, seems to have a magical and spiritual force for many religions and cultures. In my personal beliefs, there are two main roles of angels; that angels can create mythical travel between Earth and secondly, another realm as a means of psychological escape, and their “presence” aids in comforting those in need, whether it be due to a loss of a loved one, or from facing difficult times in their lives. In regard to the latter, I have been in both of those situations and feel connected to that concept.
In 2009 in looking to find some spiritual comfort, I wanted to pursue a new photographic project that dealt with this. I wandered, for hours, through cemeteries, studying the statues of angels and began photographing them. For the next five years, I had traveled to historical cemeteries in the US and in Europe. Incorporating myself into the statuary was important to show my desire to connect with this spiritual world and I did so directly by posing with the statues as well as via digital tools. I completed this series by self-publishing a selection of these images in the book The Divine Journey still available via Blurb.