“You shall not make for yourself an image [idols] in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” – Exodus 20:4
This was from the Bible, the second of the sacred Ten Commandments handed down from God to hands of Moses as guideline for the Israelites after their rescue from the bondage of the Egyptians many many years ago. This commandment immediately follows the first command “You shalt have no other gods except me.” which designates God as the one and only Divine Deity that the people must honor and worship; all other gods are deemed as false and to be disregarded. But that is much easier said than done; to this day there are thousands of deities worshiped by many people of varying cultures and religions around the world, and they come in all sizes and shapes. And the idols we worship is not only limited to gods- it can be people, such as movie stars, sports legends, and fanatic evangelicals. But it can also be things around us that we can own or get our hands on. And that is where addiction comes in. Addiction to, but not limited to: drugs, alcohol, money, porn, violence, Internet, mass media, gaming, you name it. Anything you get hooked on to the point you can’t seem to live without it becomes the ‘idol’ you worship and allow to get control of your mind and your life to the point of self-destruction.
And that is the focus of my latest project. I was inspired by the skulls that are colorfully painted and decorated for the Dia De Los Muertos festivals which is popular in Mexico (originally a day to honor one’s departed, it partially gave way for what we know as Halloween) and was trying to think of a way to incorporate the concept into one of my artistic endeavors. And thus “The Nine Idols” came to be. I thought I’d depict some of the things that we humans tend to get hooked on like idols in form of the sugar skull decorations. For the next several weeks I will post the process of this project from start to finish to the best of my ability and time (the latter is always a struggle for me, hehe) and include pics and videos. For today I’ll show you the ‘final’ concept sketch for the Nine Idols:
I’ve gone through several stages of tweaks and turns (and looking up references online) before this one came down fully polished. Now that still won’t be the final design, but the idea is set. The nine “idols” I have identified here are: Money, Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking, Gambling, Sex/Porn, Internet, Bloodshed, and Self (yes, we can be addicted to our selves too. Just look at selfies.) I know there’s plenty more, but for now this is what I can think of that are most common.
Tune in next week for more of the progress in THE NINE IDOLS. Have good weekend everyone.