Lost (acrylic on canvas 46 x 23 cm) is a painting that expresses a feeling that’s very common nowadays. It features some African people who rather risk their lives by crossing a sea in an overloaded shaky dingy than to suffer a miserable existence in their homelands, the Arab man who finds no better purpose in life then to become a suicidal terrorist , and the Western woman who´s looking for guidance on a failing map. All this happens under the light of a looming Omega-virus.
The inspiration of this painting came to me after a hike along a jungle trail to see the biggest waterfall of Central America at Pico Bonito in Honduras. The trail was meandering alongside of some steep cliffs and at some points was barely one foot wide, with a deep ravine on one side and a a steep solid rock wall on the other. There was only a rudimentary sketch of the trail available that had to serve as a guidance, and of course no cell phone signal available to make google maps work. So you had to figure out your trajectory more or less on the whim, while you had to dedicate 90 % of your attention to the next step you wanted to take if you didn´t want to end up as a meatball at the feet of the cliffs or with a snake bite.
I came to appreciate how this hike had many similarities with the way lots of people have to maneuver through life: step by step, with a sketchy map, driven by some vague purpose. In the jungle you need a constant eye for not stepping upon a snake or a loose stone which would give your nearby future prospects a very bleak outlook. Similarities can be found into the lives of people who live at the edge of society: a misguided word, act, or gesture can carry deep running consequences.
I feel pretty sure that the suicidal terrorist hasn’t been born with an innate destructive drive and that the Africans who migrate north would also prefer to stick around their relatives and houses. And all that plays against the canvas of a worldwide pandemic with a virus that rapidly mutates towards an omega variant.
Also many Western people are at loss into in an increasingly complicated world where you need half day to dig through a pile of red tape before you can board an airplane, make a tax declaration, or do whatsoever. Most Western people have to scramble to earn a decent living and then have to scramble to keep their earnings. Not many can afford the luxury of setting out a course through life of their own liking or to take a pause to see where the path they’re walking is bringing them. Many are drifting through life without a decent map or compass, with only a vague impression of where they’re heading.