This work, titled “Cet étrange soleil” (litt. This strange sun) continues my exploration on the topic of addiction.
I’ve done some more conceptual pieces in the past, but with this one, I simply wanted to represent a common object in the life of addicts. Addiction to nicotine is quite powerful, and a filled ashtray is a common object in a smoker’s environment. It’s as mundane as it gets. It stinks. It’s dirty. It’s basically an open-air garbage can, full of discarded, used up objects. You have to empty and wash it from time to time. It becomes a central part of the ritual of smoking, whatever you end up smoking.
I vividly remember my brother and I collecting tobacco out of butts from ashtrays to roll it up again. We were desperately broke, and just like the sun represents the source of life, a filled ashtray was the source for further smoking. Anyone who’s ever done this knows how disgusting the resulting cigarette tastes, but it provided a severely needed nicotine shot.
The original source image, with its perfect circle and protruding butts, in addition to orange being the main colour, reminded me of a burning sun. That inspired me to adapt the colour palette to mimic an image of the sun.