Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

Hypnerotomachia (The Pursuit of Love in a Dream) is a series of paintings and drawings portraying subjects through their desires — the ways they organize and translate their experiences, tell their stories, and pursue their dreams. Each piece typically starts as a question that opens up into a conversation about the subject’s greatest desires.

“What is a piece of music that is so moving that it has shaped your life?”

From that initial spark of an emotional, non-visual cue, I then work to circumvent desire’s first appearances and bring something deeper to the surface. Eroticism can sometimes feel superficial when it focuses too heavily on the object. I am more interested in eroticism that focuses on the subject. The journey rather than the destination.

The Hypnerotomachia series is inspired by a Rennaissance-era novel of the same name by Francesco Colonna. Like Dante Alighieri’s well-known Divine Comedy, Hypnerotomachia is a tale of courtly love in which a hero, Poliphilo, enters a dreamlike state in order to reach his beloved. That’s when the premise of the two stories diverges.

In the Divine Comedy, Dante’s lover is an angel, while Poliphilo’s lover, Polia (many things), is a series of fantastical architectural scenes. Poliphilo proceeds on his journey, as we all do, wandering through the environment of our beloved.