For years I had been cutting figures out of paper and using the cut out as a stencil in painting. These methods left the figure as a negative space in an expanse of paint. This absence of material within the space of the figure leaves a metaphorical shadow, and so the body can be seen as spirit. It is spirit that animates the body and separates us from the earth we come out of, if only for a brief moment. Each body is spirit manifest; each body is a God. At the same time, the figures exist only in the context of earth, of paint. It is paint that defines the physical world surrounding the figure and ties the spirit back to its own shadow, physical nature and the earth. The spirit, transient and ephemeral, must live in this material universe, and out of that brief existence and union of opposites comes suffering, joy, hunger, love, and all the qualities of humanity.
When I am asked what I paint I tell people that I paint the Gods. In my work, the representation of the human being is the meeting place of body and spirit; earth is the playground of the spirit, the body is earth animated with spirit. I paint the Gods and the earth and the people that inhabit the realm between the two. Gods, earth and people, they are all one and the same.
Frank Eric Zeidler