Friday, July 13, 2012

The Seven Deadly Sins: Deceit

Deceit: the act or practice of deceiving; concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; duplicity; fraud; cheating.

My life is about honesty:  honesty in my relationships with others, honesty in my words and actions, and honesty in making images that are truthful.  Deceit is the flip side of all of that, and it hurts and offends me.  When I  first painted Deceit, I was thinking specifically of a gallery dealer in New York who sold my work, then tried to get out of paying me by telling me half truths and lies.  Now, almost twenty years later,  when I think of deceit I don't think of it affecting me personally as much as how it affects us all:  leaders who say one thing and do another; people who say they are "good Christians" (or Muslims or Jews)but then seem to do everything that isn't spiritual or even just good;  physicians who provide care for their patients as much to be able to reccomend tests or procedures that they can bill for as to help those patients with their health issues. 

I have never been able to do anything about people being deceitful around me, not even in my own family.  I don't think things will change much in that way, but I do know that I can continue to try to be honest, and certainly, when I see and recognize honesty in the people around me, take great pleasure in that.


  1. Holly, I find this image so visceral and disturbing. It captures perfectly the face of deceit. The sense of double-speak, of using our trust to mislead, and the sense of shifting ground that lies create. It also conveys the sense of masking and duplicity - those two eyes. One soft, drawing one in, promising the safety of honesty and yet...; the other hard-edged with a subtle splitting. I am at my most uncomfortable when someone seems to be concealing the truth - through silence, especially. The pink crudeness of the lying tongue, the jangling lines raining down behind the image. A disorienting portrait altogether.

    I am enjoying your writing immensely - a wonderful gift of reflection. Thank you for sharing...... deborah


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