Last year I drew a large pastel based on Rembrandt’s 1832 etching The Raising of Lazarus.

Rembrandt’s Jesus’ seems a bit well-fed; but there’s a lot of drama as everyone is awestruck at the miracle. Lazarus looks feeble; he was dead for four days, so the state of his cognition is highly questionable, at best. I edited the onlookers and added color to the dramatic lighting.

It feels odd to post these images at this moment, when all the world dreads the next blows from the conflicts happening in the very place depicted in them. I wish I could could have faith, but in this reality, nothing brings the dead back to life. The innocent, the guilty, the wronged and the righteous all become dust.

I later made a smaller multiple-separation stencil spraypainted on canvas (both still available, DM me on Facebook or Insta).

The images are absurd, though, for the same reason that films and TV shows about reanimated corpses like The Night of the Living Dead and Walking Dead are absurd. Of all the monsters in pop culture, I never liked zombies much because they are brainless. No emotion, no motivation apart from hunger. The original Haitian zombie was a racist construct intended to dehumanize the population of a country that defied their colonial oppressor. The zombie concept is implausible; invented as it was to represent an inversion, justifying a ridiculous idea that the oppressed people enslaved themselves, even after death.