Sorrowful Madonna
Sorrowful Madonna
Sorrowful Madonna
Sorrowful Madonna
Sorrowful Madonna
Kulikauskas-04-23-09-010315-3
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child
Madonna Layers
Madonna Layers
Madonna Layers

Madonna Etchings

The Madonna prints begin with contrasting themes: on one side is the joyous love of mother and son in Madonna and Child; on the other is the solemn pain of the Sorrowful Madonna. These are traditional images found in countless Lithuanian churches (and on the fireplace mantle of my childhood home). I opted for zinc plate etchings over the traditional panel work because I wanted the work to be additive, that is, I wanted to layer images over each other. I revert to archaic tools and techniques when building out the base –I like things that are old. I etch real flowers into the metal through bees wax and use raw sugar to decorate her ornate crown. When I am satisfied, I make a single print using an etching press. This is where I pause–the images are beautiful, but the emotional, spiritual undercurrent is missing.
 

On the Madonna and Child I scrape out the faces and carefully polish these areas making them smooth and blank, then replace them with the shiny Rolls Royce hood ornament I admired as a child and a photo of my mother as a young woman. On the Sorrowful Madonna the seven swords puncturing her heart become a thousand, the idyllic background deteriotes under a harsh acid wash. I press on, further altering the images as they become more complicated, less recognizable. I finally merge the two plates into a single print. The result is an abstraction of the original images where combination of sorrow and joy culminates into a somewhat serene visual, that emotional tug I was searching for.