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Tower of Babel
June 1994 - Oil - 24 by 18 inches
Obalamael was a foreman during the construction of the Tower of Babel. His job was to inspect the quality of mortar between layers of rock and also to make sure that plumb lines were within tolerances. To achieve the goal of reaching Heaven, construction had to be essentially perfect near the foundation in order for weight to be distributed correctly. It is important to note that few of the construction techniques used in Gothic Cathedrals or Sky Scrapers were known to the builders of the Tower of Babel. Obalamael had an office on the twenty third circuit of the Tower's Ramp, which put him nearly four thousand cubits above the foundation. From here he had a commanding view of Mesopotamia. Frequently he would give philosophical pep talks to his secretary, Sheenapura, slave girl from the World's Eastern Edge. He would tell her of the fortune to be made once a trade route with Heaven was opened, what with the ample supplies of gold and pearls to be found there. Obalamael would wax eloquent about the historical nature of the Tower's endeavor, saying things like "At no time since the eating of the apple has mankind so challenged the status of God." One afternoon Sheenapura found Obalamael muttering incoherently while gazing from his window. While his babble wasn't understandable, he was clearly enraged. Based on what she saw as she left work that evening for the last time, construction had stopped. And all the cheerful banners encouraging productivity had been replaced with messy paint-stained dropcloths.
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