This image is derived from an Anasazi pictograph that no longer exists. The first glimpse I had reminded me of Batman (a little bit), I still think the face area looks like a visor for an astronaut. “Forever Lost” is the title I chose given the sad discovery that it lies submerged beneath the deep water behind Glen Canyon Dam.
Glen Canyon Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Colorado River in northern Arizona, United States, near the town of Page. The 710-foot (220 m) high dam was built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) from 1956 to 1966 and forms Lake Powell, one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the U.S. with a capacity of 27 million acre feet (33 km3). The dam is named for Glen Canyon, a series of deep sandstone gorges now flooded by the reservoir; Lake Powell is named for John Wesley Powell, who in 1869 led the first expedition to traverse the Colorado’s Grand Canyon by boat.
In 1984 I produced an experimental version of Forever Lost, a sand painting based on this image. Sadly again, I didn’t include enough binder and I could tell that the the painting was doomed to erode, and eventually it crumbled before my eyes while I was moving it.
Recently I’ve been looking at past work, and resurrecting some of it. For those keeping track this one sets a new record, having remained in the vault for 33 years without ever having been shared or displayed. In this case I’ve recreated the pictograph as a graphic design. I hope that sharing it helps bring some awareness of what we loose when archaeological sites are destroyed. The people who came before us left their knowledge behind in the form of artifacts. We should honor them enough to preserve their thoughts in our own memories.
Pictographs vs Petroglyphs: Pictographs are painted directly on a rock surface with some sort of pigment sometimes including a binding agent. Petroglyphs are carved into the surface of a rock sometimes into areas stained by weather to create more contrast. In my view, these types of ancient images are like an early alphabet. Each icon tending to be repeated over and over again by various people at different times.
There are actually four versions of this. The full color image is offered as giclée print, signed by the artist. This one has “sandy” texture and “paint” texture added to the surfaces and is only available in the studio or wherever the artist has an exhibition. Aprox. 19×19 frame with mat and glass $150.
The other three, one in black, one in a pale chalky color and another in rusty Navajo red. These are best visualized as serigraphic in style, as they resemble ruby-lith cut outs with clean edges. They are expected to look great on textiles of various colors. The pale one for darks, and the dark red and black will look good on lighter color backgrounds.