Treaties for madmen only, 2008 by Matthew Regan

image of Treaties for madmen only 2008 by Matthew Regan

Artist's statement

Through this image I am expressing my understanding of the ideas raised in Hermann Hesse's novel 'Steppenwolf', particularly the idea that we have a social, moral conscience that works against a basic animalistic conscience. I photographed Phillip Lewis, an older man, to illustrate the physical manifestations of these warring factions. This work examines the marks left by the way the world has shaped him, but there are also elements of determination, acceptance and importantly, hope. Through digital photography, literary inspirations are now tools of my creative vocabulary, esoteric ideas inform the photographic realm. The elegance of Hesse's subtlety in providing an avenue to realizing hope in the world is what influenced my work.