by J. FATIMA MARTINS
WORCESTER-Scott Holloway’s “Ides of March” solo exhibition at Secret Society, 116 Water Street in Worcester, Mass. from March 4 through May 7, is an intimate showing of new iconographic paintings within his signature oeuvre: dismembered limbs and internal organs imbued with messages associated with Spring — the tensioned balance between life and death, sin and redemption, and the hope for renewed transformation and love. The new work is a continuation and expansion upon concepts found in his previous major series, the contemplative and reductive: “Holy Relics, Adam, and Sacred Heart.”
The new paintings include “Ides of March” an image of a realistically depicted human heart in posterior view penetrated with military dagger that references the concept of betrayal and love, a theme extending from the “Sacred Heart” series that is deeply personal to the artist. The elegant Three Graces, honors the ancient goddess of charm, beauty, and creativity. The models in this painting are personal friends of the artist. The work is a modern iconified amalgamation inspired by two Renaissance paintings: Sandro Bottellici’s the Three Graces (in detail) from the allegorical painting “Primavera” (1492), and Raphael’s “The Three Graces” (ca.1503-1505), in nude, holding three apples. Holloway refashions the goddess, removing their soft identity as dancing ephemeral beings and reunifies them, appendages only, with modern traits, in solid camaraderie, placed in powerful triad formation as companions in a cause, protectors of the sacred apple of abundance.
The subject of “Hamsa,” and “Merry Thought Temptus” is, again, the human hand, the universal symbol of humanity. Holloway began the series of hand paintings in 2003 with his first work of the dismembered and dissected hand of Saint Luke the Evangelist, the patron saint of physicians, surgeons, butchers, artists, and students. “Hamsa,” which means “five” is the ancient protector against the evil envious eye — in Jewish tradition the symbol is called the Hand of Mariam and in the Muslim custom it’s referred to as the Hand of Fatima.
“Merry Thought Temptus” tells the tale of a couple wishing to alter time and love. The term “merrythought” is an archaic term used for the wishbone; and the bone-pulling resulted in what is euphemistically referred to as wish making or “merry thoughts,” while the term “temptus” is a constructed word pulled from the latin term for time — tempus.
For more information on Scott Holloway, see the March/April 2011 Fifth Anniversary Issue of artscope magazine or visit paintingloft.com.