From Here to Eternity (2015)

Embroidered edition of 20 + 2APs. 54 x 74 cm.
Part of “Commitment” at Casa Maauad,
Zona MACO Mexico / NADA New York, 2016

From Here to Eternity was inspired by the death of actor Christopher Lee, well known for his role as Dracula. Lee is often considered the best actor in the part, transforming the prior visualization of Dracula as a hideous old creature into a dapper misunderstood aristocrat. Bela Lugosi competes for this title and transformation and thus shares Lee’s place in the abstracted scene depicted in the repeating motifs.

The “coffin” which lines the bottom of the image is taken from a famous photo of Lee in his tomb, while the capes at the top reference a theatre shot of Lugosi opening his cape. The lips & fangs and women splayed in ecstasy are fictitious. The repetition harkens a film reel and the cliché moment in the Dracula allegory: that of the bite. Black and white, with a hint of red on the fangs, the works reference the time when Dracula as the sexual icon came into the visual vocabulary of the world.

From Here to Eternity speaks to the theme of “commitment”, the theme of the collective edition project, on multiple levels. The 22 editions took eight months and three workers (including the artist) working in appliqué, embroidery, machine sewing, and beading to complete. Together, they form a giant mural.

Lee allegedly loathed playing Dracula. His fierce persistence in the roll evidences otherwise. His artistry as an actor flourished in the part despite terrible screenplays, and his commitment redefined the archetype. Bela Lugosi was so committed to his role that he was buried in his costume.

Repetition might be named unglamorous reality of commitment. Here, the imagery repeats inside and out, forming a textile mural that, entering the market as an edition, dispels after the photograph. It is a moment in time, yet a suggestion of continuity, an anti-reproduction.