The Writing On The Wall: A Memorial and a Warning


CURRENT WORK: 2001


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"The Writing On The Wall: A Memorial and a Warning"

           A magnificent and awe-inspiring design of public art -and John's self-acknowledged masterpiece, is 'The Writing on the Wall.' It is a memorial dealing with the subject of genocide in the 20th century and beyond. But this only a partial description, for what it is goes beyond words. It must be felt.



Majestic and otherworldly forms in the distance.
Imagery to overwhelm the senses.


           We cannot give you specific details about this masterwork, though they can be fully appreciated within these images. Many of the elements envisioned by John in this creation may not be revealed as of this writing, they are subject to copyright issues. Therefore, the details shared in this page will be purposely vague. All the shown photographs are from a scale model of the project, which were furthered enhanced by John in Photoshop to fully realize an understanding of his creative vision.



An inscription carved on granite.
A monument that can be place anywhere in the world.


           The Writing on the Wall is a sobering piece that comments on the darkest extremes of the human condition. It is a monument of remembrance and it is a monument that promotes learning and provokes understanding. It is also a monument for personal expression and spiritual contemplation, and ultimately, it is a warning to humanity. After studying over 250 monument and memorials in a wide-world search, John has created something truly original, the first of its kind, an artistic masterpiece never seen before that is absolutely entrancing.



Sculptures with mirror-finish surfaces.
A monument that awes and moves.


           The images presented on this page illustrate the beauty and the complexity of the memorial design. A major drawback of public art is that it becomes dated and "invisible" by their very nature. People get used to having them in their mist and stop paying attention to them. In effect, they lose their hold on public attention. John solution to this problem was to create a design that would subtlety change every day because the day’s weather is the instrument of this change. In effect, the experience will be different from day to night as well as during the changing seasons.



Mural imagery created by light refraction and reflection.
It changes with each day.


           John's intention -for the time being, is to maintain confidential most of the technical facts concerning this work, which is as much a master work of engeneering as it is a work of art. His ultimate goal is to see the monument constructed anywhere in the world. The particulars of the project are destined for presentation in various cities and venues, which John intends to do in the near future. Eventually, when the project finds a home, everything will be revealed.



Ceramic tiles narrative murals.


           John drew from his experiences in several disciplines to create this unique monumental design. It involves etchings in granite, tiles murals, terrazzo murals, refraction and reflection murals, mirror polished steel sculptures, engravings on non-corrosive metal plates, laser beams, and even sunlight -a key elements in one of the most striking features of the monument. The combination of these elements is tightly combined to increase the sobering significance of the subject.



Thought provoking imagery...
...designed to educate.


           The design also takes into consideration one of the most overlooked realities of public art: cost of maintenance. Therefore, durability and minimal maintenance were major criteria in material selection. Granite, stailess steel, ceramic tiles, and polished terrazzo -in addition to solar light and energy, are the mediums of John's artistic expression.



The sun is a crucial element.
Music is synchronized with the sunset.


           While designing the project, John envisioned people making an evening pilgrimage to the memorial at dusk to observe the natural magic of words slowly taking shape on the granite wall as if the creator was writing them with its own hand. The inspiration for this concept was the biblical story in the book of Daniel, where King Belshazzar of Babylon and his guest, during a drunken feast, saw the disembodied fingers of a human hand appear and write on the wall of the royal palace words of divine judgment.



Sunlight delivers a message.


           At night the memorial will acquire a completely different look and feeling. When the sky achieves its total darkness, a prison that reaches to the heavens will be created by bars of laser lights. The imprisoned sculptures represent the spirit of the victims of genocide. Their forms contain hidden symbols and shapes peculiar to certain times and cultures.



Lighting at night...
...and a prison created by laser beams.


           John actually thought of this in 1977, shortly after his arrival to the United States. He worked his ideas mentally without ever producing notes or renderings. It was not until the spring in 2001, when preparing his master's thesis for his final project at Vermont College of Norwich University, that he decided to give concrete realization to his conception. Within the short span of three months, John wrote an accompanying essay, created (and tested) a scale model of the memorial (the one seen in these images), and prepared an exhibition with the model, a prototype segment of the tile mural, and a lecture accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.



Imprisoned spirits are released with the dawning of each day.


           Following the exhibition and presentation of the project in Vermont College, John put it away until 2008 when he visited Indonesia, a country with its own history of genocide. As a treat to an audience attending his two-day series of art lectures at BINUS University in Jakarta, he presented once more "The Writing on the War". The reaction was so favorable and moving that it convinced and encouraged John to bring this project into the public eye by presenting it to American audiences beginning with his home state of Ohio. For this purpose this page has been updated with additional images and text. Presently (2009) John is working at getting an art grant to assist with the presentation effort. His ultimate goal is to interest community leaders to build the monument.


Note: If this kind of work is something you feel strongly about, then please pass the word along and direct others to this page. For another of John's works dealing with human rights, click on the following link:

Political Terror in Latin America





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