Storytime: "Bill Monster"

"Bill Monster" illustrates the stress when medical bills from hospital treatments pile up. Sacrifices are made so their child can be healed but the true cost is always lurking, ready to strike. I made some changes from the ink version with my parent's poses and made the medical codes more subtle. I depict my parents as merpeople as I represent myself as such, and felt it appropriate to this piece. The tree to the far right is a Calamondin tree to reference my mother's filipino heritage and to show how medicine that is meant to be good for you can also cause pain. This tree bears small sour citrus and its branches have large thorns. To suggest that the tree is also the bed I am laying in, I incorporated pine needles in both the roots and the bed rails.

 "Bill Monster" (30" X 24") Acrylic, sand, sea glass, art paper, pine needles, plastic and rice paper on canvas, 2017.

"Bill Monster" (30" X 24") Acrylic, sand, sea glass, art paper, pine needles, plastic and rice paper on canvas, 2017.

 "Bill Monster" Ink on paper, 2017.

"Bill Monster" Ink on paper, 2017.

I hid medical codes for my diagnosis and treatment under the glass as these were some of the codes used to create the bills my parents spent years paying even after treatment was over. Before Hurricane Irma hit in 2017, I collected sea glass and fine beach sand from Puerto Rico. That fine beach sand was coated throughout the piece and on the fins of the monster. I then layered rice paper over the fins with additional sand to give an ethereal earthly depth to them.

Tiny fragments of shell encircle my father's neck to reference his passing in recent times. His shell necklace, from when my parents met, was passed to me not long after his death. My parents both loved the beach when I was a kid but much of that precious time was taken with extended hospital visits.