Tell Tale Heart

Scott Holloway

    • 16 x 20 inches
    • © 2013
    • Acrylic, Silver Leaf, and Oil on Panel
    • Framed to 20 x 24 inches
  • Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's character, The Young Man from "Tell Tale Heart".

    "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe first published in 1843. It is told by an unnamed narrator who endeavors to convince the reader of his sanity, while describing a murder he committed. (The victim was an old man with a blind "vulture eye", as the narrator calls it.) The murder is carefully calculated, and the murderer hides the body by dismembering it and hiding it under the floorboards. Ultimately the narrator's guilt manifests itself in an auditory hallucination: the narrator hears the man's heart still beating under the floorboards.

    It is unclear what relationship, if any, the old man and his murderer share. The narrator denies having any feelings of hatred or resentment for the man. He tells us: 'I loved the old man! He had never wronged me! He had never given me insult!'. He also denies the assumption that he killed for greed: 'Object there was none.', 'For his gold I had no desire.' It has been suggested that the old man is a father figure, the narrator's landlord, or that the narrator works for the old man as a servant, and that perhaps his "vulture eye" represents some sort of veiled secret, or power. The ambiguity and lack of details about the two main characters stand in stark contrast to the specific plot details leading up to the murder.

    The painting is of the young man in the story who killed the old man. The "Vulture Eye" haunted him and drove him to kill the old man. He pointed out that he began to see the eye in everything. For this I chose to hint at the eye throughout the painting.

    The painting is made to resemble a tin type photograph. Made to look old and scratched with splotches and chemical changes with age. In these splotches and drips you my spy some eyes staring back at you. Round objects like the drops, the pin on his coat and even the buttons on his vest even seem "eye-like". Even the young mans own eye under his monocle is presented distorted and gross or evil, symbolizing that he personifies the very evil that he believed he was striking down when he killed the old man. I have purposely accentuated the shadow on the nose to make my models nose look slightly more beakish to also mimic that of a vulture.

    The lantern in the painting is also part of the story. He told that he stood in the doorway of the old mans bedroom for hours using just a thin beam of light from the lantern to watch the old man as he slept before he attacked him.

    Also a subtle detail is the man putting his hand into his coat which was a common pose back then. But upon closer investigation you can see some small specks of crimson on the back of his hand.
  • Born in USA, 1969
    ​ 1991-1995 Studied at Montserrat College of Art

    ​​ Scott Holloway's work represents themes associated with the historic fusion of religious dogma and scientific enlightenment of the Renaissance. The work is meant to be contemplative; and the viewer is encouraged to meditate on its hidden subtext - narratives about the search for the divine soul through anatomical dissection. Conceptually Holloway approaches the work emotionally, but controls the formal presentation through analytical methods as was done by the great masters of the past. The final images of anatomy are presented as traditional icons to convey the sacred nature of the human body. Holloway's work is about honoring the beauty and complexity of the human form even after death.

    Scott Holloway has exhibited his work in New York City, Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London, Berlin, Italy and Denmark.

    His work has been published in Art That Creeps, La Luz 25, Quadrant Fantasies, Catapult ArtMag twice, Lexikon der phantastischen Kunstler, Monkey Sapian,Book of Skulls and 20 Artists of Worcester.​
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