The Image: Maury Gortemiller, "The Pity"

© Maury Gortemiller, The Pity

The Pity takes place outside of a large subdivision at the northwest edge of the Houston, Texas metro area. This is where development yields to coastal prairie, and pastures lie beneath airplanes tracking to Bush Intercontinental Airport. The long uninterrupted stretches of asphalt invite motorists to drive with abandon. At times the depicted road is littered with animal carcasses, perhaps the victims of car collisions or discarded by hunters.

The image is a re-imagining of the Pieta form. The objects include a gold tablecloth, a large stuffed animal (rabbit), light stand and finally a mobile basketball goal. The post of the latter was adjusted to an extreme angle and telescoped as far as possible. I wished to emphasize a triangular shape and the billowing drapery of Mary’s attire.

The series "Do the Priest in Different Voices" combines elements of Christian iconography with the more mundane elements of the everyday. While this image has a decidedly fantastical approach, I locate a symbol of suffering and hope for so many in a quiet and particularly unspectacular setting. The golden form is only a tablecloth of course, but it’s informed by the wind in such a way that suggests an otherness. For me the shape courts notions of divination and prophecy. I’m interested in the possibility of omens and portents, not to predict the future or ensure success, but more simply as an alternate way of knowing and ordering experience.

- Maury Gortemiller