Paintings›

Progress of the Soul›

Birth

1990, 44 x 60 in. oil on linen.
The pleasures and discomforts of pregnancy yield to the violent logic of birth. A tremendous flow
of energy goes through the mother, who emits and orgasmic scream of pain that echoes from her
own birth to her death, portrayed as silhouettes on either side of her head. The letter symbols in the
painting are Tibetan syllables, a white Om, red Ah, and blue Hum. When placed in the head, throat, and
heart, these letters are the seed syllables of all the Buddhas. Thus, the mother is a birthing Buddha. The heart
vajra in the screaming newborn is a symbol of imperishable spirit. Though the umbilical cord will be
cut, the child will remain connected to the mother with subtle heart cords.

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