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Art-of-Eric-Wayne's avatar

Death, Dissolution, and the Void

This is my most ambitious piece, and the one I've worked the hardest and longest on. As the title suggests, this represents my attempt to depict crossing over to the other side. Essentially, I've attempted a digital rendering of something like an after-death experience.

This image is much larger than it appears on screen and some details can't be seen clearly, or at all, in the reduced version.

People will have different reactions to this image, and different interpretations, but I'd like to offer a guide to interpreting it as I intended it. The image illustrates a process which can be read as moving in stages from the left to right, which also works as back to front. [Note that to get a really good feel for this image you can focus on the ball on the right as being far above the figures, and then look down at them from that vantage point. Admittedly it makes me a bit uncomfortable to do that, and I generally prefer to appreciate the image on the level of surface beauty.] In other words, the image doesn't portray an instant, but a timeline (ex., there are not two heads but just one in different stages of disintegration).

On the left side of the image is a figure merged into an amalgam of all materials which is cracking and folding over on itself as it approaches the center barrier. I see this as the end of physical dying, when the mental ability to interpret the material world atrophies, and thus the material world along with it. Material can't cross the center divide, and the person's corporeal existence is shed as he passes through a dividing plane or membrane, in a process of shuttling through layers of dimensions.

You can see left of the center of the image a stark division between the material and immaterial dimensions, and something like a force field, layer or membrane intersecting them perpendicularly and separating them. The layer has a hole where the person is crossing through, causing a temporary tear in the fabric of reality (for lack of a better phrasing), and ripples in the surface of the immaterial realm. Something biological and blood-like – a last vestige of bodily existence – is splattered along the ripples.

The second head is no longer material at all, an image as on film, floating briefly on the surface of the intersecting layer, and only lasting as a fleeting memory on the other side.

The kaleidoscopic sphere is something like a disembodied spirit, no longer identified with the former host body, of which it's been cleansed, and without thought or memory.

On the right is a giant ball or cavity, depending on how you look at it (a deliberate optical illusion on my part), that represents the overpowering, crushing reality of the void. Notice it is poised ominously above the heads, as if it could bounce on them or roll over them. The spherical spirit only produces a slight glow as it merges with the void. The spirit will evaporate and be (re)integrated with the timeless, space-less potential of the void.

Notice the head on the left is not looking at the giant ball above it, but averting it's eyes back to the material realm soon to be left inexorably behind. For what it's worth, according to the Bardo Thodol, or The Tibetan Book of the Dead, most people would prefer to be cast onto the rack of any incarnation rather than face obliteration in the void. I meant for there to be an element of the mysterium tremendum to this image: the wholly appropriate fear at the foot of god, to put it bluntly, though not exactly literally.

The interpretation isn't as important as just the general feel of a place or places outside of consensual reality, an intersecting of realities, and the possibility of non-corporeal existence, however ephemeral and subjective. It should be a little frightening, as is any sudden immersion in the unknown and unforeseen. At some point in the future I may share my original inspiration for this piece.

I added a Flash animation of the process here:

I added a close-up of the two heads here:

There's a page on my website all about this image here: [link]

REJECTED BY: :iconeliteartists: :iconworth-dds: :icongetdailydeviations: and more than a few others


Image details
Image size
7200x4186px 8.91 MB
© 2012 - 2021 Art-of-Eric-Wayne
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herky34's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

This piece is so amazing; right away without even reading the information on it I was able to tell what was going on. Something about it just speaks to you about death and crossing over. It was shocking when I was reading the info about this project because the paragraph the artist wrote had all the same thoughts and feelings I felt after first glance. Overall the whole thing is kind of out of this world and is similar to something that you might experience while on DMT; and that’s what I love about this work of art. Keep up the hard work Eric
Enemom's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

This is a gorgeous piece. I can see all the hard work that was put into this. While I am a fan of color, this blends it's colors together so well. Never have I seen a picture where the colors are in such harmony with each other. The concept of this is beautifully original. And the fact that you include your interpretation is fabulous. I adore this piece, for it is a treat for the eyes, a pleasure for the soul, and a comfort for the mind. I think you nailed the concept perfectly on your first try, and I applaud you. The detail in this piece is remarkable. It as if this is a photo of someone crossing over to the other side. Thank you for your enormous contribution to the art world.
Art-of-Eric-Wayne's avatar
Thanks so much, Enemom. It's great to have ones work find such an appreciative audience!
Enemom's avatar
You're welcome!
shindroid's avatar
this is extremely cool
awesome43's avatar
Congrats on your second DD. Wow this is great and well deserved.
Art-of-Eric-Wayne's avatar
Wow! I had no idea this happened. I've been so busy teaching lately. Awesome.
I found it and then submitted it to Reddit and then after it took off there it hit DD. Soon as I saw it I knew R/Psychonaut would love it. Wish you could have seen it on reddit earlier so you could have had a chance to respond to the comments over there. [link]
Your art is amazing!
Art-of-Eric-Wayne's avatar
the "psychonaut" section is very appropriate for this piece!
Idolize-Paradise's avatar
This is very inspiring. To be honest, at first sight, before I read the description, I didn't quite understand it but I still got goosebumps all over and this powerful feeling overwhelmed weird, I know. But anyways, this is definitely something different and really unique.
RunePixie's avatar
Deep and thought provoking. The details are amazing and I valued reading your description.
emini2's avatar
A True way of Spiritual meaning Love It
RowanKeltizar's avatar
Congrats on the DD. This has always been one of my favorite spiritual works. Right up there with the likes of Alex Grey.
Art-of-Eric-Wayne's avatar
Thanks so much. Love the comparison to Grey.
Piav's avatar
Beautiful and astounding work. Not only is there the initial visual impression, but the meaning as well. Very powerful piece and I loved your description. I find this to visually represent the concept 'ego-death' the closest to what I have seen.

Congratulations on making a profound and emotionally-compelling piece. Thanks for letting the world see this. haha
Art-of-Eric-Wayne's avatar
Thanks for your kind words. I can tell you really get the piece. I'm lucky it found the right audience.
Child-Of-Hades's avatar
Trippy with a philosophical/spiritual meaning behind it, quite a lovely piece :) You earned that DD
Art-of-Eric-Wayne's avatar
Thanks! Appreciate your comment, and like that you think it's trippy.
aegiandyad's avatar
Congratulations on the well deserved DD. This was in our favourites gallery already.
Art-of-Eric-Wayne's avatar
Thanks. As you know I have a lot of your art in my favs as well.
kerrath's avatar
Staggering in its complexity and beauty. The idea behind it is powerful and deep.

I appreciate you sharing which groups this deviation was rejected by. The fact that #getdailydeviations rejected it is ironic now that you've received a DD in spite. Just goes to show that groups' judgment when it comes to submissions is regally flawed and takes some of the sting out of rejections that I, and I am sure others, have received.

Keep up the amazing work.
Art-of-Eric-Wayne's avatar
Thanks Kerrath. Glad you really get it. About the rejecting groups. This piece was rejects by about half the groups I submitted it to. Often they are looking for something that's already well within their comfort zone. If a piece doesn't fall within preconceived boundaries, it doesn't have a chance.
Karinta's avatar
What a giant, textured piece this is!
Art-of-Eric-Wayne's avatar
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