created Blessed Oblivion in 1975 as my tombstone. It incorporates a sailor’s
tattoo, which I had photographed at The Pike in Long Beach, as the central
image below a death angel taken from a New England gravestone. I got the
title from a tattoo that was on the arm of an actor who was in a film that
was shot at my studio. The tattoo on his forearm read:
Since it was a tombstone it needed a cross, so I added the cross. But for nearly a year I couldn’t figure out what to put on the left side. I drew in many different images; nothing worked. Then one evening some friends came to my studio for dinner and brought me some orchids. I took one look at them and pasted them onto my sculpture. I then created the vase and table to hold them, and replaced the dying orchids with plastic flowers which I bought at the five and dime. The sculpture was finished at long last."
from Neon Lovers Glow in the Dark