Burn, Baby, Burn!
Hammer pounded steel, wood & house paint, 60 x 30 x 60
This crucifixion image is of a headless Christ figure thrusting forward from his nails, seething in torture. Hand beaten steel fire engulfs him. Ringsby hammered expanded steel into layer upon layer, leaf after leaf, to give Burn, Baby, Burn!, 1987 a feeling of billowing fire. Flames physically elevate the figure two feet from the wall. The sculpture comes directly from the artist’s experience of migraines. There is no head, as there is no thought, only the otherworldly emotion and alienation of extreme pain. On a spiritual level, through this work, the artist explored his subconscious feeling of rejection and punishment by God. Why was God punishing him? Ringsby could not understand why he should have to endure migraines and if there were a just God, why would He allow it? Ringsby could not answer the great 18th Century question of Theogeny which is how does one reconcile the existence of a just and caring God with a world in which evil abounds? The artist answered the question by becoming, during his migraine period, a militant atheist. Ironically, Ringsby simultaneously identified, on a personal basis, with the suffering of Christ.
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