Just as COVID-19 was setting in around the world and raising alarm bells I was coincidentally working on this copper etching. The actual image and decorative scroll-work are not mine, they are adapted and borrowed from a 1952 printing of Albert Camus' "The Plague." This printing features several grim reapers, scroll work and typesetting in Janus, that were created by the artist Warren Chappell.
The phrase "LIVE WITH VIGOR FOR DEATH COMES RIPPING" is meant to be motivating. Humorously, this idea is in part inspired from watching the movie "Airheads" as a kid, where the character played by Brendan Frasier comments on his grim reaper tattoo. The whole piece is reflective of our fragile and tenuous existence and that one should live with vigor and passion because at any moment death could come for us. This became even more prescient as COVID quickly set in with terrifying and unknown consequences.
The etching is painted with black acrylic paint, a patina was applied to the copper to achieve the green and purple colors. The copper plate is riveted to a textured aluminum plate that has been treated with earth ocher and clay.