Study of H. Bosch by Sam Anderson
Medium: Acrylic on canvasboard
Size: 18 x 14
Artist statement: My name is Sam and I am currently incarcerated in Faribault, MN. This painting is a study of a small portion of Hieronymus Bosch’s GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS. This scene of two people being tortured and tormented by fantastic beasts and unseen demons for their transgressions, while the garden of Eden is just out of view personifies my experience in prison. The others here, myself included, are stuck in this hellscape purgatory, held in bondage, and tormented by our own hellish demons, while the proverbial Garden of Eden beckons us through the razor wire fences. My goal in art is to represent what lies beneath the sunny façade. When I see someone smiling in a portrait my first thought is to what they might have done to make themselves smile. I want to see a forged will or the handle of an axe behind their back, something they got away with. I think it gives an added layer to what is otherwise mundane and sometimes repetitive subject matter.
Image description: This painting is a study of Hieronymous Bosch. The scene has a lute that is being penetrated by a harp. On the strings of a harp are is the pink, naked body of a man stretched out on the harp strings. On the loot, there is a pink man bound to the stem of the loot and there are two creatures holding their arms and legs. In the back, you can see a crowd of people all naked, staring along on the bottom right is a pink creature that’s big with an unusual costume and hat. Jetting out from the left looks to be like a turtle on fire.
This poem, titled The Circumposed Humour, is something that was inspired by the schizophrenic atmosphere of prison:
There is no sound dampening, and all the cells are connected with one ventilation system.
There is no Quiet. There is no Dark. There is no Solitude.
This does strange and awful things to your psyche over the years.
Sometimes the most nonsensical things become clear, as the most defined thoughts become toxic sludge.