Imaginal Cells: Began in SoCal c.2015. The work continues to the present concurrent with World Orchestra sculptures, and 2-4-6 Landscapes, each on a seperate page. Human infants are small versions of adults, and therefor considered direct developers. Butterflies and moths are indirect. Imaginal cells is common lingo for the pre-coded cells which guide moth, and caterpillar larvae through their life cycles. These cells pattern the dissolution, and reconfiguration of such organisms. Throughout the history of monotheism, thousands of images have been created to communicate one story. The story of The Annunciation, and subsequent Immaculate Conception. An angel, visits a woman, explaining she is chosen to be the mother of “God”. Believers and non-believers have both come to view paintings about this subject as artworks. Often as the greatest artworks made by man. We respond to the art “work”, not the truth of the story. Religious painting, monotheistic or otherwise, has always been a matter of applying skill sets to institutionalized myths. Previously, the myths existed as a must for artists to follow. What we tend to visualize as religious painting more or less ends as a church’s moral authority peaks. Modernity, with the absence of a central moral authority refocused us on the present, the here and the now. Art became free to change the story. Free to picture the story first, or the visuals first, while not required to care if myths were verifiable. With this work, Charles takes imaginal cells with the transformations of larvae - to cocoon or pupae - to butterfly or moth, as a symbol of the immaculate conception. He proposes that ancient Greek or Egyptian or Chinese naturalists were studying the life-cycles of bugs long before monotheism appeared. What if the mother of God was a human genetic anomaly? What if imaginal cells explained it? No matter how or why, a special baby seems to have a documented existence. So we venture into religious paintings with a twist. With the twist that mythology will follow a different narrative, dictated by an abstract skill-set. Mothers communicate with offspring in special languages. Would it be different for say Mary? So then, the artist gives us in titles, The Virgin, Holy Mother, Madonna, or Mary “the Magdelene”, with reference to baby “snookems”. The artist uses shape and color to narrate bits of the lives of Mother Guardian, and Child. The Marys and Snookems. He uses the subject to enable the act of painting. He uses an abstract skill-set to write a unique narrative. The story, like a grid, is an armature for abstraction, but not depiction. Charles composes the story as he paints the picture. Below are 3 image grids.
Grid 1: Imaginal Cells Small (6” X 8”) pencil and ink drawings on paper.
Grid 2: Imaginal Cells on canvas.
Grid 3: Imaginal Cells on paper.