Roy knew his 81-year old mother was hooked on the idea of artistic photomontages because he saw how they “actually accentuated her happiness!” This was especially important in light of her husband Albert’s unexpected death weeks earlier.
So Roy and I began brainstorming about Rita’s most ardent passion: her tireless anti-smoking activism was always strongly supported by Albert throughout their marriage. I asked Roy where would her activism take place in the photomontage? Rita and Albert adored their vacations aboard Carnival Cruise ships, so that would be a two-fer. I suggested we set the scene with an evil Marlboro Man hanging upside down from the cruise ship’s stacks (which just happened to also share the same colors of the Marlboro brand). This further inspired Roy to ask if I could outfit his mom as a Carnival Cruise “anti-smoking sheriff,” with a custom patch made from the real-life medallion she was awarded for her activism. Albert, a lawyer, would be resurrected as the judge who seals the deal.
The glowing angel wings on Albert were important to Roy to emphasize his father’s spiritual presence in the Dreamscape. What a great way to bring Albert and Rita together again! What began as a bit of a roast evolved into a beautiful sympathy gift.