creative portrait

Nikola Tesla – the pigeon whisperer and grandfather of energy. An enigmatic, private genius who was exploited and exploited back. A man much maligned for his idiosyncratic concepts that proved to be brilliant in retrospect. Always challenging, always exploring, his restless mind never paused. When he wasn’t brawling with Edison over AC vs DC, he was destroying buildings while experimenting with vibration frequencies and shrouding entire towns in darkness in an attempt to harness cosmic energy. Time and time again, Tesla proved to be ahead of his time. When he died poverty stricken and alone in his hotel room, they say the FBI swooped in and confiscated his blueprints for his ‘Death Ray’. A concept that had him ridiculed by his scientific peers. It is believed that these plans eventually resurfaced in the form of Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ program decades later.  Tesla had his quirks and faults of course. He lied to benefactors about where their money was going. He struggled with women – he couldn’t bear perfume, hair or pearls and had some very archaic ideas about a woman’s role in society and his one and only love was for a white pigeon that would visit him in his hotel room. You cannot get more intriguing than Nicola Tesla!

Naturally, Tesla demanded special treatment. He would never accept compromise! I had a beautiful piece of dichroic glass made for me, so it could transform the reflections from the mirror into a shimmering, colourful display. There are mirror prisms placed below Tesla’s aluminium profile to create an ‘infinite’ reflection for those who look closely, copper inlays and double sided etching on the aluminium. Nothing is too much for the father of energy!

The Gorgon’s Muse, Past | Present | Future and The Persistence of Pain are similar explorations into portraiture. If you are as fascinated by the lives of my subjects as I am, it is worth visiting my art narratives page.

Take one mad artist, fuel with caffeine and point at a mirror. Concrete was lovingly polished, dichroic glass fused, aluminium etched within an inch of its life and copper scribed, flamed and wrapped around high impact polystyrene. All this, a spot of sandblasting and a little bit of colourful ink and enamel to complete the picture.

Coloured concrete, dichroic glass, mother of pearl, aluminium, copper, mirror and a few fingernails.
54cm x 64cm | 4.2kg
Available for viewing

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