Alonso G. Smith

Delirium Tremens

Delirium Tremens
1978, oil/canvas, 46" x 25"

Falling off the wagon and into a well of despair, the alcoholic is nourished by bottle-breasts, even as he tries to contain his splitting headache with a mighty padlock. Arrogantly, he straddles the world and ejaculates 1000-proof alcohol, while his ungratified wife "loses her head" and plucks at her cello strings for satisfaction. Ailments and horrors accompany his descent in the form of ulcers, cirrhosis of the liver, and an inflamed heart. Hallucinatory reptiles, bugs, and bats climb down the slimy walls. Above the well, in a liquor-soaked countryside, are tombstone of alcoholics who have died in their cause. In the depths of the well is the merry-go-round of drinkers, all rationalizing addiction by misinterpreting the philosophies of great thinkers.

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