January 25, 2019
Bill Viola, Inverted Birth, 2014
Happy birthday, Bill Viola! For an artist whose work always merges the deeply introspective with the vast and elemental—water, fire, hell, and a sort of heaven always feel somehow present, if not overtly so—we’d warrant the candles on this man’s cake are more spectacular than most. In this image, a still from Inverted Birth, we see a man coated in viscous liquid; recalling blood and bodily effluvia and terror, before the liquid gradually clears in a surreal reverse-pour. It’s very strange—disturbing even—and somehow very beautiful.