Angels and Demons
The Story behind Angels and Demons
(in Jerry's words)
These panel paintings were the last of a series of paintings I had done before destroying my art and letting go of my identity as an artist in 1979. These images are all that remain of some final dialogue-- remnants of longing fulfilled in the unexpected possibility of complete surrender. There were over 80 of these paintings, which I called “Angels and Demons.” The panels were human scale, 6 x 1-foot, and there was an image painted on both sides of the panel. Each panel hung on a single cord from a pyramid structure mounted on the ceiling. There were 10 panels (20 paintings) that hung from the pyramid. They were hung 5-and-5 on 2 of the 4 sides of the pyramid. When the entire piece was hung in this way, the images would spin slowly and appear to relate to each other.
The panels were often painted with light and dark figures—one on either side. The later panels eventually incorporated both together on the same side—an apparent and somewhat unconscious attempt to alchemically unite the opposites within. In the instant we unite the opposites we go beyond the language of our chosen form of expression. In my case, I had to leave behind the physicality of painting and, for what ever reason, the paintings themselves. Any language that we have efficiently put to use ultimately delivers us to some natural and useful end. It is at this end, with some final act of courage, that one’s chosen language is transmuted into a direct and sublime experience of the Source. These paintings represent the last words of the metaphoric conversation that led up to that end.