Body Skull

In Voluptas Mors

Philippe Halsman / Salvador Dalí

A tribute to the iconic image.

Voluptas the Roman goddess of pleasure

Mors the personification of death

In pleasure, death

A dark sentiment, attributed to Dali’s fixation on immortality. The work certainly continues to fascinate.

But it is not that simple.

Voluptas is the Roman goddess of pleasure, and Mors, the personification of death. The work can be seen as a romance between deities, the pleasures of life, or all the pleasures of a life. Voluptas was often shown in the presence of the Graces, goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, goodwill, and fertility. Seven characteristics and seven models.

For me, Dali’s concept represents what we achieve in a life, who we are as a person.

The image itself is a milestone – the bringing together of all the necessary components of an artwork, the collaborators, the artistic and technical skills. Thus the image, a representation of the achievements of a life, is itself a significant achievement of that life.

My image is intended to be the first of a series of similar images exploring identity, with individual models representing different people on their journey through life. Each a part of global humanity, and each essentially alone.

The destination is clear, and communal in that it is a shared destiny. How we get there, and what we do on our journey, is individual.

The skull itself generates feelings of the unknown, of pirates, adventure and treasure, as well as the secrets that lie beneath the surface of everyday things.

Special thanks to my model Billie, who was so generous in helping me achieve a decade long dream.