The Pain Body

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I got the idea for this piece over ten years ago.

I was reading a book by Eckhart Tolle titled The Power of Now. Tolle is a teacher of presence and how to find your true self. It’s  a cliché, but the book changed my life.

There's a section in the book that talks about the Pain Body. Tolle describes a place in our bodies where we hold all our painful experiences,sadness and fear. And how we carry it through our lives and in most cases we live through that pain.  We let the pain color our decisions.  It holds us back and keeps us from enjoying life.

I immediately knew what he was talking about. I knew where in my body that pain lived. I recognized how it made me suffer. At that moment I didn't know how or what caused it. But years later  I did come to understand when it began. Then after that moment I was able to feel that pain rising up inside me. I became aware of what triggered it. And how it influenced my life choices and its ability to steer me in a certain direction.

Around this same time I realized I wanted to incorporate the spiritual lessons I was learning into my art. I was doing it in subtle ways already but it started being a central part in every piece.  

So I set out to create my Pain Body. What it looks like. And where in my body it lives. I wanted to show how heavy it is and how difficult it is to move carrying all that pain. And of course, the pain. There are many other things happening in this piece, relating to gender and the evolution of human beings. I also repeat a few themes. I didn't start out with the idea of a hybrid human. But as I continued to work on the piece it started dictating to me in a very different way then any other piece. I went with it.


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Jake Alfieri
Figurative, Futuristic
Wood, Oil Pastel, Metal, Leather
25.00 inches wide
67.00 inches tall
24.00 inches deep
50.00 lbs
Bronx, NY, US