Multimedia artist Don Williams reinterpreted David’s painting for the 20th anniversary of Jim’s death.
Located in the Museum of Modern Art in Brussels, the painting The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David depicts the radical journalist Jean-Paul Marat lying dead in his bath on July 13, 1793. Accusing Marat for having instigated the Reign of Terror, Charlotte Corday stabbed him while he was taking a bath to remedy a skin disease. There was no one better than his friend David to depict this dramatic event.
Below Don discusses his inspiration and points out some interesting details that he included that make this work a clever twist on one of the most famous paintings from the French Revolution.
“I created the artwork while learning how to illustrate in scratchboard in college. I had a library book on the works of Jacques-Louis David from a previous art project and came across The Death Of Marat painting. All I could think of was Jim Morrison of The Doors, found dead in a bathtub in Paris, taking into account that 1991 was the 20th anniversary of Jim’s death, followed by Esquire magazine articles on the anniversary and that of Oliver Stone’s movie The Doors which came out that same year.
The poetry on the piece of paper is one of Jim’s poems entitled ‘The Opening Of The Trunk’. I had friends of mine and other art students ‘vandalize’ the wooden crate he writes on in the picture just like the vandalism surrounding Jim’s grave.” — Don Williams
The Opening of the Trunk
Moment of inner freedom
when the mind is opened and the
infinite universe revealed
& the soul is left to wander
dazed & confus’d searching
here & there for teachers & friends.