Mortality Is A Myth
A couple of months ago I modeled for a sculpture my friend, Ted Lawson, wanted to make for his first solo art show. He wanted to cast my full body which was a very long process and took almost two full days of work. I was covered in Vaseline, coated in layers of silicone, then the silicone was covered in plaster bandages to harden it and then the molds were removed.
On the first day we did my entire back, then the front of my torso and finally my face. The second day was my limbs. It was intense! The silicone actually felt really good on my skin and the heat from the plaster curing was also nice but holy shit did it hurt when the molds were removed from my body. Imagine having one huge bandage that covers your entire back and then having it ripped off in one piece. Having my face molded was the most interesting part. We actually had to do it twice since I freaked out on the first try. I was not sure how I would react since I had never experienced that type of sensation before. I was sitting in the chair with my head propped against the wall when he began to paint the layers of silicone onto my face. I had my eyes closed and my mouth parted slightly. I also needed to be mindful of the expression on my face since he was going for a particular feel for the sculpture. As the silicone began to drip down my face and my airways became covered I had to blow out through my nose to keep them clear. In between my labored breathing there were a few seconds that I was not able to breath and this went on for about 3 minutes before the straws were placed in my nose. Needless to say I was not prepared for that and it was hard for me to regulate my breathing and I began to feel like I was suffocating. My mouth was also watering because it was slightly parted and it was difficult to swallow so my mouth kept wanting to spring open and gasp for air. Before he was able to paint the finally layers of silicone on I had to tap out and he removed it. After I took a few minutes to calm down and process the situation I realized that the straws needed to be put in my nose from the beginning so I could regulate my breathing properly and that my mouth should be closed so I could swallow and not worry about it affecting the integrity of the mold. Needless to say that did the trick and the second try was a breeze. It was actually very meditative.
I had spoken to a friend of mine later that night and she laughed at the story and told me I’m always doing crazy shit. I took a minute to really think about what she had said and you know what she was right but how could I pass up something as interesting as this. I knew it was going to be a crazy sensory experience. It was depriving, immobilizing, painful, and exhausting but so worth it! Sometimes we all need intense moments like that to know we are still alive.
Here are pics of the the finished sculpture titled “Mortality Is A Myth”.