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Floating in the Ether
e·ther /ˈēTHər/ The hypothetical substance, or mythical place between the heavens and the earth, through which electromagnetic waves travel. According to ancient and medieval science, aether (/ˈiːθər/), also spelled æther, aither, or ether and also called quintessence, is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere.

Floating in the Ether is a series of paintings that deals with the lose of connection with my father. He was KIA (killed in action) as a Navy pilot when I was 11 months old. My Mother did her best to fill in the gaps, but her time was pulled away leaving us alone for long periods of time. During which I tried to teach myself lessons from both sides of the masculine/feminine hemispheres. I have been trying my best to figure out what it means to be a man ever since. With no positive male roll models I turned to the media, but that just created confusion & isolation. Not being able to deal with the loss of my Father my family chose not to talk about him, in essence wiping the memories away like he never existed. This further cut my connection with a half that could make me whole. My grandfather was also a Navy pilot & the expectations were for me to continue the legacy & become 3rd generation pilot. As I grew up I realized I would never be able to fill those shoes. The closest thing I would ever become is a paper airplane pilot. Emotionally this is where the paintings take place.

The paper airplane has become a symbol of innocent dreams & aspirations in my art pieces. The pilot’s identity, gender, race, are left intently vague, like the space in which it floats. The graphics that surround the pilot are from an A4 Skyhawk’s Altitude Indicator. (my Dad’s plane) Like a compass this instrument is one of the most important, letting the pilot know where the ground is. IF correct the arrows should point down like a W. If not something bad is about to happen. This indicator is a symbol for me trying to find my way through the ether, life, & my male identity. The glowing parts of the pilot in this series symbolize areas that have been activated, or areas that are being worked on, similar to chakras.  From that stand point you are healthy & whole when all of them are lit, unbalanced when not.

Plunge 18x31 charcoal, acrylic, & aerosol on canvas. 2021 
Descend 18x31 charcoal, acrylic, & aerosol on canvas. 2020


Thrown 31x18 charcoal, acrylic, & aerosol on canvas. 2020 ​​​​​​​

Vortex 31x18 charcoal, acrylic, & aerosol on canvas. 2021
Trinity 18x30 charcoal, acrylic, & aerosol on canvas. 2021
Relinquish 18x30 charcoal, acrylic, & aerosol on canvas. 2021
Declination 18x30 charcoal, acrylic, & aerosol on canvas. 2021
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Floating in the Ether
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Karl Zurflüh