Visit Jersey City’s Central Avenue shopping district to see and experience this work of art.
This mural was made possible through the efforts of the Central Avenue S.I.D. Management Corp. in partnership with the City of Jersey City Mural Program and funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. DeGise, County Executive, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
I chose to design an image that incorporates two key elements, The Valley of The Kings, an ancient Egyptian burial site where pharaohs and powerful noble men where entombed from the 16th century to the 11th century B.C., with a contemporary image of an astronaut, meant to appear as if he/ she is descending on to planet earth to explore the site.
The elements in the image are designed to cause a juxtaposition of something that is very old, the Valley of the Kings, with something that is very new and modern the astronaut. In the hopes that it will cause the viewer to consider their own presence in the scope of the human narrative. The ruin of the tomb is meant to reference the past, events that have transpired and laid the groundwork for society and culture to function the way it does now, which in turn, will shape events to come. The future, which is symbolized by the astronaut, who, to me, represents the courageous exploration of the unknown and proactive endeavor to meet and understand the world as the passing of time reveals itself.
I chose to represent the past and the future with this specific subject matter because, even though vast portions of time and space occupy the distance between a person exploring the cosmos and the site that pharaohs were laid to rest outside of the capitol city of the ancient Egyptian empire, they both represent a defining human desire. To understand the world we occupy, to pier into the unknown and attempt to incorporate it into our understanding. Whether through faith, or through science we have an inherent desire to comprehend.
As an artist I like to think about all art in this way and could continue to explore the meanings behind the symbolism, but instead will attempt to be brief. I think that this mural will primarily be a pretty picture and also just strange enough to cause the viewer to pause a moment and consider it and in doing so I hope that they too think about the past, the present, and the future and who they are influenced by what has happened before and how they can influence what will happen.