Ascending Sisyphus
OIL ON CANVAS. ORIGINAL SIZE 11x14 in

  • To the ancient Greeks there was no punishment worse than fruitless and hopeless labor. The myth of Sisyphus epitomizes this concept.
  • The gods sentenced Sisyphus to push a boulder to the top of a mountain. Once at the summit, the huge stone would roll back down and Sisyphus would again need to push it to the top.
  • Philosopher Albert Camus interpreted the story of Sisyphus as the absurdity of useless labor for millions of working people.

The artist offers his own, poetic, interpretation of Sisyphus' work. In this optimistic rendition of the famous myth, every morning a black screech beetle rolls the ball of the sun up into place to begin the new day.

This corresponds to the task of a poet as described by Vladimir Mayakovsky, which can be translated as "Shine all the time, forever shine… So runs my slogan – and the sun's!"

Note that the ascending and descending of the glowing orb imitates the cyclical movement of the celestial bodies in the sky, of the earth orbiting the sun, and the moon appearing and disappearing over the face of the earth.