I Am


Colin McCahon,  Victory over Death 2, 1970, Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

Colin McCahon was a prominent New Zealand artist in the twentieth century. Many of his paintings explore the connection between ecology, the land and the Bible. Victory over Death 2 is a very large painting 19 feet wide by 7 feet tall. The mere size of it emphasizes the enormity of the question. Not as easy to see in a small reproduction is the faint Am I question on the left –painted black on black contrasting with the bold and assertive I am on the right. The smaller text sections explore Jesus’ doubts as he sees death before him.