COVID-19 — fini les bises à la pelle !

”COVID-19 — fini les bises à la pelle !”, oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm., 2020, is a self-portrait of myself hesitating to kiss my own death skull, and is surrounded by a ring of blue roses.

The blue roses symbolize the unattainable; here, an unfulfilled love-moment that is even too complicated to be described in words because our natural habit of performing the delicious bises à la pelle is abruptly stopped by the cold mental forewarning that “some doors should never be opened”. There is nothing to say, save perhaps “Oh, I almost forgot.” 

This is, indeed, a challenging conceptual and technical study and essay. The image of a person kissing a death skull is an age-old meme (if not a cliché). Here the twist is to play on the concept of The Picture of Dorian Gray, whereby the death skull is the mirrored image of my true Self — i.e. that part of me that always remains constant, regardless of the « accoutrements » of fashion, disposition, or aging. In the Age of COVID-19 a simple kiss on the cheek can become the shovel that digs our own grave… Indeed we must all face our own Death, with eyes open or shut. And yet Death finds meaning only against the background of Life, though measured in mere years or breaths. Just as Light has no significance without shadow or Darkness, we cannot live Life fully being afraid of Death. On ne peut pas vivre en ayant peur de mourir …

In the immortal words of John Donne:

Death, be not proud


Death, be not proud,

though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful,

for thou art not so;

For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow

Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,

Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,

And soonest our best men with thee do go,

Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.

Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,

And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well

And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally

And death shall be no more;

Death, thou shalt die.


COVID-19 selfie

Kathmandu in extreme silence – an art photography exhibition

book author and painter/art photographer


Adam Donaldson Powell’s latest art exhibition (photos taken in Nepal) featured color photographs printed on aquarelle paper. The exhibition took place at S9 Gallery, Sverdrupsgate 9 (Grünerløkka), Oslo, Norway, June 11 to June 17, 2011. Here is their WEBSITE

Adam Donaldson Powells fotokunst utstilling:

utstillingsperiode: 11. juni – 17. juni, 2011.

Utstillingen besto av tolv farverike fotobilder i storformat, trykket på grovt akvarellpapir, og med eksklusive billedrammer. Katmandu er vanligvis full av mennesker, overalt og stort sett dagen rundt, også på hellige steder. Problemstillingen: hvordan kommuniser det meditative – til tross for store folkemengder? Powell har tatt imot utfordringen med konsentrasjon og tålmodighet. Resultatet? Her har kunstneren klart å fange stillhet og indre ro på en måte som gir en universell opplevelse av velvære og håp. Adam Donaldson Powell (født i Buffalo, USA) er profesjonell billedkunstner (siden 1995) og forfatter (siden 1987). Han har hatt mange billedkunst utstillinger over de årene, både alene og gruppe utstillinger, i Norge og i Sverige. Powells malerier og fotokunst arbeider finnes både i private og offentlige samlinger, inkludert f.eks Ullevål sykehus, Rikshospitalet, LLH, NAV, to ambassader i Oslo m.fl. Hans interesser for det flerkulturelle og det flerspråklige preger også hans litterære arbeider. Han har gitt ut 11 bøker, henholdsvis i USA, Norge og India, så vel som flere korte arbeider i skjønnlitterære blader i USA, Spania og Sør-Afrika.


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