I’m sure right now you’re scratching your head and asking yourself what this post is about, or maybe more importantly: what my state of mental health is, based on these pictures… It is an intriguing question, apart from being humorous. Because, looking back retrospectively (you can’t look back any other way, I’m afraid), I think a lot of the things I drew as a kid and the subjects that held my attention for so long, did foreshadow some of the problems that captivated me later on in the literal sense of the word: as in providing me with directives. The idea of fighting and overcoming ones inner demons or ‘shadow’, is ancient and ever-potent, as its modern formulation by Franklin D. Roosevelt shows: “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself”. So the question, though difficult to answer now and probably varying from individual to individual, is, I believe, a valid one. In the end, I think, it is a case of initiation or successfully taking ones place in the world, and thus of identity.
The demons drawn together here symbolize different things, but also fear made manifest. The ballpoint drawing above was about the predicted apocalypse for the end of the 21st century (or my future prospects). There were many prophecies running amok at the end of the 2nd millenium, and there still are – notwithstanding our modern scientific rationalist times… Actually, superstitions have never been as prevalent as in the 21st century! Astrology and its characteristic fatalistic thinking, has taken such flight as to be ubiquitous nowadays, not to mention mystic new age ideas, witchcraft, and other half-understood super-silliness. I took my inspiration from the idea of the Age of Aquarius, or Pisces, and its doomsday imagery.
The two fish at the centre of the drawing, represent the sea serpent Jormungander of ancient Norse mythology on the left, or maybe the feathered serpent deity Quetzalcoatl. On the right hand side is a Jonah-and-the-whale like creature not clearly defined, perhaps a Leviathan, but universally associated with death and rebirth. A corresponding celestial band of Aztec and Norse motifs meet in the middle of the picture, as well as a self-explanatory heavenly gate like structure. Put together, both bands form two ‘eyes’. Next to these there are images related to social struggle and suffering at the top. The bottom part being hellish, covered in fire and brimstone. Then there is the Celtic cauldron, symbolizing death and rebirth again. The Masonic ‘all-seeing eye’ as a revelatory theme, and the ‘evil eye’ in the middle along with a lot of other goings on. Images of flood, fire and strife seem to come naturally to the troubled mind… In a similar vein to the yearning of many today, for Obama’s promised Matrix style change:
Edgar Morin, for instance, interprets the appeal of astrology among youth (of the densely populated urban centers and white-collar workers) today “as stemming from a cultural crisis of bourgeous society.” He thinks that, in the youth culture, “astrology is also part of a new gnosis which has a revolutionary conception of a new age, the Age of Aquarius.” (-Mircea Eliade, “Occultism, Witchcraft And Cultural Fashions”, 1978)
The hand below is more of a pun. Where its name and crossed fingers signify the hope for good luck, the fact of the hand being cut off, ironically tells us the gambler’s luck didn’t hold: ‘he lost his hand’. You could say it’s a morbid but classic ‘still life’, symbolizing human vanity in the style of Dutch 17th century painting, lol. It probably illustrates the dangers inherent in hope, gambling and its superstitious cousins. Although poker, of course, is incredibly fun to play! The detailed picture at the bottom showcases my love for the fantastic and my teenage ideas about religion. That the Gods of one age (or culture) turn into the demons of the next, and correspondingly move ‘underground’ and ‘coalesce’. Seemed it wasn’t such a silly idea after all, as I discovered reading about the history of religions. In Freudian terms they symbolize a return of the repressed. These pictures I made about thirteen years ago.
…Honey, can I have my medication now?
Artwork Vrijgegeven onder Creative Commons 3.0