In 2005, I created a piece titled ‘Fallen’ – and early in 2006 while walking to work, my mind had wandered again about the topic in which I created it: A fallen angel’s first moments in Hell. I had wondered about reversing the topic and asked myself: “What would a demon look like trying to get into heaven?” And thus, the idea for Ascension was born. I spent quite some time sketching my ideas, I had solidified the image of a demon crawling out of hell, badly burned, screaming from the pain and the salvation of being free. It would be the exact opposite of ‘Fallen’ – instead of a silently haunting gaze, I wanted to create a primal scream of agony.
With my sketch, I kept my eyes open for the right model. I would need someone athletic, lithe and easily poseable – and several months passed before I had found a first-time model by the name of Cynthia. She was a natural, and as I was shooting her, I could very much see the vision of the piece – but due to an extremely loaded work schedule, I didn’t get to start on it until October of 2006.
I have put more time into this piece than any other piece I have done. I surprised myself with the amount of depth I was able to achieve in the details, and the end result is exactly what I had pictured in my mind. ‘Fallen’ is one of my most cherished pieces, and ‘Ascension’ is a worthy successor to the topic that seemed to intrigue me very much. In 2008, I was invited to be a Guest Artist at the Dirty Show in Detroit, which ‘Ascension’ was featured there.