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Submitted on
October 8, 2007
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8,450
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121 (who?)
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Camera Data

Make
PENTAX Corporation
Model
PENTAX Optio A20
Shutter Speed
1/30 second
Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
8 mm
ISO Speed
400
Date Taken
Sep 1, 2007, 8:20:06 PM
×
Weight of the Stone by Denis-Peterson Weight of the Stone by Denis-Peterson
Let's first get this out of the way:

Title: Weight of the Stone
Medium: Acrylics on canvas
Process: Airbrush
Size: approx. 3 1/2 ' x 5'

I met Eugene the same day as Dolores and Neil in Cardboard Dreams [link]

We spent several hours together, discussing the tragic chain of events that have led him to where he is today. In short, he was run over by a truck after running into the street to avoid being detained by those who were chasing him. And it was all over a minor incident.

Since that time, he has been living on the street, having been effectively stripped of his assets due to an unfortunate series of unjust incidents that he is struggling to get right. I tried to help him the best I could, suggesting a number of avenues for recourse. He seemed deeply grateful, and I am certain that he was genuine.

It was quite a day, during which I would get up to stop people who were just walking by hoping not to catch his glance. They all walked back and gave him something, and appeared to feel good about doing it too.

I hope that this painting does him justice. Eugene has been dealt a very bad hand and is just hoping that someone will care enough to help him help himself. Everything in the painting represents his entire world.

Pigs on the wing

You know that I care
What happens to you
And I know that you care
For me too
So I
Don't feel alone
Or the weight of the stone
Now that I've found
Somewhere safe
To bury my bone
Any fool knows
A dog needs a home
A shelter
From pigs on the wing
-Pink Floyd
Add a Comment:
 
:iconkabanero:
Kabanero Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
It is extremely powerful
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014
Thanks it was a tough composition to pull off 
Reply
:iconmjjock:
MJJock Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2011  Student
good work!!!!!!!
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
thanks very much! :slow:
Reply
:icontakatarikuzen:
TakataRikuzen Featured By Owner May 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's simply a powerful image you have created... I haven't looked through your DA account quite yet, but have you won any awards for your works? I mean, it seems impossible you haven't
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner May 30, 2011
Thanks, content and composition can add up to some powerful imagery...there's some stuff here and there in the past, but I don't actively look for award oriented affairs...thank you again
Reply
:iconcifuso:
cifuso Featured By Owner May 28, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Amazing Denis just amazing!!!! we artists have the obligation to portray those that the status quo have excluded from the beauty of society.

Best, Rodrigo.
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
Thanks very much Rodrigo, ineded art is the last refuge of hope as the rest of civilization collapses around us...
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
indeed
Reply
:iconzach84:
zach84 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2008
you did an excellent job of capturing the saturated lighting condition that was most likely evident in the photo...and the smashed gum stain concrete adds to the dirty reality of a city sidewalk...well done painting(s)!
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2008
thanks, Zach, I worked all the lightest colors in first, starting of course with white, which helped to make it appear more saturated.
Reply
:iconkeronarts:
keronarts Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2008
Hey there Denis --

Wow, this is GREAT to see you here on DA. Been a fan of yours for a while now and I'm so glad that you're able to share with us. This, and really many of your images are such poignant commentary on the world around us. I really wish they'd have the effect that they deserve and somehow right our teetering ship. On the one hand you say how you feel privileged to have been a part of this life for just one day, but anyone with serious eyes must certainly see how you indeed are a huge part of the greater stream of life for so much more than that. Thanks once again; great to see/ meet you.
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2008
Thanks, these and my older genocide paintings were done to raise consciousness and appeal to the lack of gratitude that we all demonstrate from time to time. As visual interpretations of what we need to connect to, the work hopefully serves to reach out beyond superficial aesthetics and to create a lasting narrative. I appreciate your thoughts and the fact that you expressed them; glad to hear from you.
Reply
:iconpixel199:
pixel199 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2008   Digital Artist
Amazing what one can do to help others. I believe this man has been set on the right track, thanks to you Denis. Your works have inspired me to help others in need, as well as put my all into my pieces.

Fantastic painting, as always.
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2008
That's really great that you are immersing yourself in your art as well as in the needs of others.

And thanks.
Reply
:iconsilverphoenix1:
silverphoenix1 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2008
wow like this blew me away i thought that you just took a picture i had no idea that you painted that you have alot of talent
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2008
thanks, it was quite satisfying to pay this tribute to him and his dire situation. He was first class all the way...
Reply
:iconcattieloves:
cattieloves Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2008
This breaks my heart. Thank you for doing all you could to help this guy. If everyone did that, I truly believe there would be no homeless people.
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2008
That day was quite different from most, and I do think that if many did some small thing, it would make a phenomenal difference. It is unfortunate that our hardened society is creating classes of people as if they are undeserving of love.
Reply
:iconsrutnik:
SrutniK Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2007
phew, I noticed his handicap , after having looked at the painting for 1, 2 minutes... very expressive and skillfully hidden behind the cup :o :o
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2007
well, thanks very much, I was waiting for someone to finally mention the placement of that cup!!
Reply
:iconsrutnik:
SrutniK Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2007
:)
Reply
:iconspiderguile:
SpiderGuile Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Amazing and full of emotion! I love that!!!
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2007
Well thanks, I really appreciate that!
Reply
:iconspiderguile:
SpiderGuile Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
;) you're welcome!!!
Reply
:icondarronlee:
darronlee Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2007   Traditional Artist
wow this is amazing very realistic
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2007
Thanks, having spent time with him made it easier than it would have been otherwise.
Reply
:icondarronlee:
darronlee Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2007   Traditional Artist
youre welcome
Reply
:iconthetube:
thetube Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2007
We are all just one unfortunate string of events from being in the same place as Eugene.
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2007
That is what really struck me when he told me his story...
Reply
:iconnottheredbaron:
NotTheRedBaron Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2007  Professional General Artist
I love the hope in this picture - and it's a hope that you get without reading the story that comes with it. As always, this comes from the way you chose to paint. The subject is bathed in a bleaching white luminous light, in such a way that despite the fact the ground is marked and spotted with ground in gum, the subject looks by comparison spotless.

Hope also is brought to the image by the subjects' slight smile - I can see from this alone how you connected with Eugene during the time you spent with him.

I love the playful composition in this painting also. There is a slightly skewed symmetry running throughout (most notably the plastic beaker substituting the symmetrical balance of his amputated leg). I feel like this moving towards symbolism; a society which allows the disposable to take prominence over a man's body and ultimately the value of his life.

On a different note, I am drawn by the CD player (protected and) placed at the centre of this mans world. As an artist, I revere music above all else and since the title of this piece is taken from a lyric in a song, it places an importance on music to Eugene that is almost secretive, yet ultimately most significant. It's interesting to note that the lyric is ultimately about hope, which brings me neatly back to my initial observation.
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2007
Using the concept of bathed light seemed to suggest a literal transformation in the narrative sense, while maintaining a contemporary aesthetic.

I have been reading The Power of Now by Tolle. Eugene is the power of now without a doubt. Eugene does epitomize hope; hope in a world of hopelessness and despair. Here he was on a hard unforgiving sidewalk, ironically leaning against locked steel store security gates, smiling at me with the full intention of giving the impression that he had control over his world, regardless of the past and accepting of the future.

There were a lot of choices to make as far as which shot to use, the bottle 'hiding' his leg became the clear winner early on, as it was ironically positioned as were the cd player and siamese sign.

These works are especially intriguing to me as well, as when I initially photograph them, unlike a professional photographer, I just take random unconscious shots. There are no props, no lighting, no suggestions to move this way or that, no special lens, or anything that might improve the composition as a photograph.

Thanks again for another profoundly interesting take on my work.
Reply
:iconkeight:
keight Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2007
Denis, I really appreciate your control of light and texture in this. I also enjoy your use of diagonals in this to increase the dynamism in the image. You handle both of your callings, art and awareness. very well.
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2007
Thanks, it's really easy to get caught up in the literal and narrative aspects of visual commentary. Aware of that potential pitfall, I created lighting, shading and repetitive colors to emphasize the diagonals; which helped maintain the integrity of the subject as a self-sustaining person and the painting as a comprehensive, visually stimulating aesthetic.
Reply
:iconchaoslt:
chaosLT Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2007
This is great! :). Also love the composition, the cup in the foreground and the bag hmm yeah ... well sorry dont got much intelligent to say i just like it ;).
But why am i always noting it so late when you submit new masterpieces ? ;D. Also thanks for giving us the story behind the picture. Aaaand, someone asked if you would have an exhibition in germany one day, actually that would be awesome ! :). In the area where i live here often are artists from all over the world... hmm whatever ... would be stunning to see your paintings in real :). I am sure they would even appeal more than they already do :).
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2007
This one has a lot of presence in the same room, especially with a few of the others around it. Even though I don't look at the others as most of them are stacked, it is pretty amazing how they look as if they were painted the same day! But they do have much more appeal close up, especially together, thanks.
Reply
:iconringgoldatienza:
RinggoldAtienza Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007
Wow! This is really amazing.
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2007
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.
Reply
:iconbluebirdie:
BlueBirdie Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
You work is very real (not just in the "realistic" sense-) it's real in both ways, meaning, you are depicting the raw and harsh realities that some folks find themselves in ; places where most wouldn;t want to venture or make art about- those in poverty and destitute; it is eye opening and incredible the devotion it takes to make a painting like this, down to every last detail, finding beauty in places most dont want to look-
Art-speaking, how did you create the patterns in the jeans & textures so intricately? It would be neat to see these paintings up close.
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007
Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment.

The overriding consideration in all of my work is to present an aesthetic that not only creates an illusion of reality, but which does it by leaving an impression of beauty in otherwise repugnant human situations and depictions.

In this one, I used contes, pastels and color pencils to lay in dry pigmented color and texture prior to airbrushing acrylic inks and resinous paints. In this way, I already had my jean "patterns" and "wear" details already laid in and could blend them more easily.

I keep trying to take shots up close, and have all but given up on the terrible results.
Reply
:iconadrianna-grezak:
Adrianna-Grezak Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007
was this in NYC in the flatiron area? if so, i saw/walked by him on afternoon
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007
wow that's great to hear, if you see him again, tell him I said hello!!! (that day he was closer to penn station actually)
Reply
:iconadrianna-grezak:
Adrianna-Grezak Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007
its a small world after all
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007
did you see him before or after seeing this painting?
Reply
:iconadrianna-grezak:
Adrianna-Grezak Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007
oh, before. Oct 5th, a friday. i remember b/c it was Columbus Day weekend and i was buying a book by Jimmy Carter before he came to sign books in Barnes and Noble near where i live.
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007
how interesting, well he is someone certainly hard to forget!
Reply
:iconahuvah:
Ahuvah Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You have the most interesting encounters with people... but then you look for them, that is the amazing part :hug: This is just incredible... You capture such feeling in the moments... I hope justice does come to his situation, and others like him.
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007
Thanks very much and I certainly hope so as well.
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:iconahuvah:
Ahuvah Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
you're welcome, :nod:
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
By the way, the interesting thing is that I had walked up to an art store that I was looking for and while noting it wasn't yet open, randomly caught sight of Eugene directly across the street from it.

Interesting coincidence.
Reply
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