Worlds on Worlds grid of paintings
Worlds on Worlds
Current Work Statement


The world into which I was born was San Francisco in 1946. From my window I could see the sky and the sea. But my world was my least half of it. The half not occupied by my brother. For a while I did not want for space. It seemed the world was plenty big for me.

Eventually I asked if I was necessary to the world. I guess I asked that of God.

There was no answer. If the world needed me, it spoke very softly of its desire. In any case I seemed to need a world to shape a life upon. So I shaped Life and World as best I could.

I thought I might like to get away from earth for a while and roam around the universe. I did the best my imagination would allow. There seemed to be many inflating balls making still more inflating balls. As far as I could see, which really wasn't very far, there were worlds on worlds. The next day I would look again, and the worlds had disappeared.

Had worlds changed by my looking? "Worlds don't depend on you!" others said. But when I looked again I saw a Shadow, or Other Me hidden from me. I thought it was an interior world, but there was no way of knowing. This uncertainty led to disenchantment with worlds I thought I knew. So I learned to live without knowing, which became a sort of life made of willfulness rather than natural connection.

These days when loved ones die I like to say, "They live among the stars." It gives me a certain comfort to think this. So when I started running my paint through an automotive spray rig, naturally I started to see stars and imagine the dead smiling back at me. Varying the distance I held the spray gun from the canvas I painted what seemed to be stars of varying intensity and focus as if seen through a telescope.

Circles of color and light I painted made me think about living in this tiny envelope of space, and how we might imagine others as living and embracing us from their distant worlds.

Are their colors on our wavelength? Do they see as I we do? No matter how hard I look I cannot tell for sure what I see.

— Jerry Carniglia



Current Work


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