The Golden Corridor and FindShadow
In 2015, I lost my dog, Shadow, in NYC. She was alone and surviving on the streets. At the time, I didn't know if she was alive, or taken in by another family, or just gone. I never gave up searching, and 39 days later she was in my arms again. I found her 6 miles from our home in Brooklyn. She was living at a dead-end street, scavenging for food, and avoiding human contact at all costs. She had reverted to survival mode, and would not even approach me. I had to leave food out for her and watch her eat from my car for a week before a specialist would ultimately help me capture her. Once we had her in the containment area, and she smelled me, it was like an instant "click" - she was back! She began to cry and wanted to lick me all over. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.
This painting, The Golden Corridor, was inspired by my journey to find Shadow. My story also inspired a better way to find lost dogs. With the help of some very hard working individuals and private donations, we've created a community-led organization called FindShadow, that has already helped to find over 400 lost dogs in NYC. We use and develop technology to empower communities to help one another. This painting now hangs in the offices of FindShadow in Downtown Manhattan to inspire the staff to help open the golden corridor for all of the lost dogs still out there.
SYMBOLISM AND METAPHOR
The Golden Corridor is painted on two separate wood panels, known as a diptych. The panels represent two different places in the same forest. My shadow is in one place, and Shadow is in another. Notice that between the two panels, the trees and leaves do not line up. My shadow extends out from the bottom of the left panel. There is a little plant extending over the area of my heart - notice it's shape. All of the cast shadows, including mine, and the trees', are pointing in different directions...but in a clock-wise pattern from left to right. This is to indicate a passage of time, like a sun dial.
The Skyline. Notice the bottoms of all of the trees, and you see a vague outline of the Manhattan Skyline formed by the bark. This forest is a metaphor for the city. Shadow hides inside the hollowed out base of a tree on the right panel. She is purposefully painted with low contrast, and very dark, because she was hard to see/find.
There are carvings of arrows and dates in the trees. The arrows are self explanatory. The date on the left panel, 4/3/15, was the day Shadow went missing. On the right panel, 5/12/15, the day we were reunited. The red birds represent all of the people that helped me (and one or two that led me astray) along the way. FindShadow's branded color is red, and this is also a tribute to the staff and community that continue to help so many dogs find their way back home to this day.
There is genuine gold leaf, in three different karats, lining the rush of leaves that are flowing from one place in the forest to the other, guiding me to Shadow. This is to emphasize how I followed my intuition, and never gave up hope. When you see this painting in person, the gold appears to glow and disappear, depending on where you are standing and how the light catches. This is similar to how we struggle to listen to our intuition....waxing and waning. Finally, the golden corridor that connects the two panels is 22k gold leaf. I carved 39 marks into it to indicate the number of days I searched for Shadow. The corridor is the path that was made by myself and the community to allow Shadow to find her way home.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about the inspiration behind this painting. You can also see a 60 sec. time lapse (including a picture of Shadow) by clicking the link below.
Help Lost Dogs in NYC by downloading the App from FindShadow.com
Follow Shadow and FindShadow on Instagram