New 5-layered woodcut, created March–April 2016:
Alex Diamond: I never promised you a Rose Garden (2016)
Multi-layered woodcut, acrylic paint, ca. 80 x 60 x 11 cm (31,5” x 23,5” x 4,5”)
When it comes to superheroes, at some point I will always come back to The Incredible Hulk, whom I‘ve used as a reference in my woodcuts for a few times already over the past years. For me personally there are so many angles to the big green fella that I am sure you will see him appear again in my future woodworks.
But as with most of the figurative elements in my work, I am using the Hulk mostly for his symbolic values: he is torn, powerful, unpredictable, unstable, and in constant soul-searching for the reasons for his being - all strong references to life itself and the daily struggles we often deal with.
However, in this work ... the Hulk is looking down into the golden light that shines from the bluff he is sitting on, and he is ... smiling. Ever so slightly, just a smirk that you only see when standing close to the artwork - but a happy smile it is. It appears that he has made his peace.
For some background trivia: There are two very popular „quotes“ in this woodcut: the Hulk‘s posture resembles Auguste Rodin‘s „The Thinker“, and the title derives from the famous country song „(I never promised you a) Rose Garden“.
The reference to the sculpture is mainly about visual familiarity, putting the Hulk into a less violent and non-agressive environment. All despite the fact that „The Thinker“ originally sits at Rodin‘s„Gates of Hell“ and is definitely not smiling. But he is however also more or less just an observer.
The title from the Joe South country song „(I never promised you a) Rose Garden“ completes my composition and is to be taken pretty literally. Because like most good music, stories and paintings are about the one thing only, this woodcut is also just another love song.
Everything else regarding the stories within this work I am sure you will figure out easily enough ...