In this collage series, Planetary Alignment, I illustrate five planets in the Solar System along with relevant mythological and scientific connections. In the first one, I depict Mercury. The statue shown is of Mercury, the Roman messenger of the gods. In the second collage, I show Venus, along with the statue Venus de Milo, of the Roman goddess Venus. For Earth, I chose an old Earth Day photograph of people holding up an inflatable Earth ball, which I replaced with the actual Earth. For the image of Mars, I used the Roman god, Mars, in front of an image of the Martian surface.
Throughout this series, I attempt to depict the Solar System in its actuality, as well as the human perception and utilization of it. I use checkerboards throughout the collages to show the small role of humanity in a larger universe. I also use rainbows to demonstrate the vastness and diversity of the universe we live in. By examining the ambiguity and origination of the Solar System via variations and distortions, I investigate the dynamics of the cosmic landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of it based on our assumptions of what the universe means to us. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of imagination. This work’s goal is to establish a link between the cosmic landscape’s reality and that imagined by its human conceiver, as shown through the Greek and Roman statues present in each collage. These works focus on concrete questions that determine our existence within the world around us.