Walking with the Dalai Lama
By Lewis deSoto, 2000. Mixed media with nylon, painted cloth 7 x 25 x 6 feet.
In Buddhist scriptures, Shakyamuni Buddha remained on the earth after attaining enlightenment to teach others his insights into achieving salvation. At the age of 80 he came to Kushinagar, where he preached his final sermon and died.
This episode is the Paranirvana, the physical death of the historical Buddha and his entering into Nirvana, the state of oneness and perfection. This work by deSoto was inspired by the loss of his father; he has superimposed his own face on the Buddha as he asks the universal question, "How will we all face the moment of our death?"