“Ophidiophobia” is a 20-inch by 40-inch oil on canvas representational painting of snakeskin with snake pattern belts surrounding the edge of the canvas. Painted with extreme attention to detail, it looks like a digital print. However, the physicality of the piece gives insight into the process of building up paint to produce a golden color to the skin. I have an extreme physical reaction from being in the presence of snakes, no matter if it is an image, if it is on tv, or if it is in a cage. I recoil from them as though the danger they pose to me is real. This fear has been rooted from childhood, where I have had several encounters with snakes in some cases where I was almost bitten by them. However, I have never been bitten by one. I have never touched one. I have never been threatened by one, but that fear is still present. It’s a fear that I do not want to deal with, but the physical experience of that fear is so powerful it teaches me a strong lesson. In those moments where I face that fear, I realize that I fear losing my life to them. I allow myself to use that fear as an affirmation of my existence and a confirmation that I want to keep on existing. The belts surrounding the painting are there to make fun of my fear. I bought snakeskin belts to wrap around my body. Belts that serve to constrict and hold tightly against your clothes. Even the idea of it makes me laugh, because if it were an actual snake wrapped around my waist, I would likely faint.
"Ophidiophobia" 20in x 40in Oil on Canvas with snake skin belt surrounding the frame