Friday, August 20, 2010

Collage for August 18, 2010: Coliseum

This collage was inspired by one of the most interesting books about ancient Rome I've ever read:  Those About to Die, by Daniel P. Mannix, written in 1958. (My copy is a yellowed paperback dating to 1960; price: 35 cents.) It is about the Roman "Games" in the Coliseum, which, to quote from the back cover, "started as gladiatorial contests between warrirors and were degraded through the centuries into the wildest public massacres in the history of perverted pleasure." So much for the roots of western civilization! I don't necessarily care for books containing excessive cruelty and bloodshed, but I do like reading about history, so I must tolerate a certain amount of it. This book goes way beyond, entering that zone of primal, lizard-brain sensations that we've spent millenia taming. It does so, however, without crossing the line into cheap thrills, being well researched and written. My collage is positively prim and tame in comparison. Bones signify death, but they do have a certain "clean" quality. For whatever reason, the skull theme continues to prevail in my work...

1 comment:

  1. You've captured the essence of this book perfectly- wonderful visual imagery. It does sound like an interesting read!


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