8 1/2 Breathes

This work is based on my first viewing of the Federico Fellini’s film 8 ½. Toward the end of the film, there’s a boy about 8 years old who is marching around playing the flute. This figure made me think of Manet’s painting The Fifer 1866. Who in my mind seems to be about the same age as the boy in the Fellini film. I then started to think about what I was doing around the age of 8 ½.
Around that time my mother had a stroke and I had to sleep in her bed to make sure she wouldn’t stop breathing during the night. Now that I’m getting closer to the same age as my mother was when she had her stroke, I am also having trouble with breathing. Often I wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air because I have stopped breathing. This work for me deals with what it is like to struggle to breathe and the real experience and fear that I have, knowing that I may not wake up because I might just stop breathing during the night. For me, the playing of the flute or fife really represents what it is to be aware of one’s own breath.

Artwork Info

Type of Work painting, drawing
Medium latex paint, on drop cloth
Dimensions 4' X 3'
Subject Matter flute, breathe, 8 1/2, death, life, awareness, stroke, manet, fallini

Artist Info

Troy Mathews

Joined: August 26, 2013

Rights: All Rights Reserved

Appears In 1 Album

17 items

Troy Mathews BFA Painting & Drawing Thesis Fall 2016