One of the joys of being an artist is the ability to take viewers on a journey. This is certainly true of writers and performing artists, as well.
One of my favorite pieces [below] is an innocent, little thing I created as a gift. While it has neither theological significance, nor the weight of heady concerns, it yet remains a powerful piece.
Without the viewer's knowledge, I have gently taken them to a specific time and place, and introduced them to a small handful of characters. I don't tell the viewer a story, but they instinctively know there is one. Perhaps they know a great many chapters of the story.
Personalities of the characters emerge, with idiosyncrasies and histories of their own. The viewer knows the breed of the dog, its temperament, and how it contrasts with its owner's demeanor.
Ambient noise echoes faintly somewhere in the viewer's mind. A melody floats by. Emotions are gently tickled. A visible smile might even come.
But the place never existed. The event never happened. Neither the characters, nor the dog, nor anything surrounding them ever existed.
Perhaps most amazingly, the viewer finally comes to the realization that, for the past few moments, they have been taken somewhere past reality – while looking at a single sheet of black paper.
"The Night Watch." Edward Riojas. 2010. (Riojas collection)
Copyright © Edward Riojas. Image may not be reproduced for any reason.