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Lisa Nigro


Boston, MA

30" x 22"
pastel, gouache, gold leaf on paper

One of a series depicting conflicts in sexuality, in relation to my Catholic upbringing — It speaks about how the coupling of man and woman can either be something like a religious experience or quite the opposite, a restricting experience where one or both walk away empty. I combine the Christian symbol of the fish with the more pagan, Viking symbol of a glowing sword so as to suggest the possibility of marriage between the ancient ways and the new. Here in the golden temple, the old customs and rituals of the Priestess accepting her duty of initiation of the male into the mysteries challenges the new, oppressive, hypocritical laws of Christianity. There is a feeling of engulfment where each being is sucked into the other and lost in the whirlwind of the moment. Pornographic-like images of sexual intercourse combined with small crucifix symbols on a gold medieval archway create another dichotomy. Humans have the potential to create beauty and love through sex, yet the way in which society uses sex as a weapon weakens us so that the potential is lessened to the point of grotesque humility.

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