DOUBLES August 15 2021, 2 Comments

The dualistic theme of the double has offered endless opportunities to express ambiguity in art, literature, and cinema. DOUBLES is the focus of my new collection: as the hidden truth and the imperfect mirror image.

 

                       
Double-Headed Serpent                                                Resplendent Owls by Kenojuak Ashevak                  Not to Be Reproduced 

In the visual arts, the double has been a rich source of inspiration and belief. The concept challenges our accepted way of thinking. We are invited to consider alternative understandings of ourselves and the world.

The importance of duality and contrasting pairs has been a vital part of the Mesoamerican way of thinking from the beginning of the Pre-Classic Era, 2,500 BCE to 200 CE. Imagery in Inuit art often shows human figures intertwined with animals. Paintings in Rene Magritte's universe challenge the observer's preconditioned perceptions of reality.

 

Metamorphosis

The double in literature is an old concept, often used to express the dark side of human nature. Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis is connected to themes of alienation, identity, compassion, and the absurd. Robert Louis Stevenson had long been intrigued by the idea of how human personalities can reflect the interplay of good and evil 

 

                          

                                                       Mona Lisa                                                  Smiling Redhead

Hidden Truth images in this collection shows the contrast between the interior world and the exterior world. An exploration of the history of art shows that the disparity represented in classical paintings and present day images continues. What was Mona Lisa really feeling while sitting for Leonardo Da Vinci? Is that a genuine smile? What was the interior life of the smiling red head in an 18th century portrait?

Women have endured the unattainable expectations of religion, society, media images, and the defintions and objectification imposed by men: the male gaze.  They've been portrayed as loving, nurturing mothers or reckless free spirits, holy women or prostitutes. Their image has always been always available for exploitation. But inside there's a woman screaming. In Margaret Atwood's novel, The Robber Bride, she notes "You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.”


                        

                          At the Moulin Rouge / The Scream              Mao / Senecio

Imperfect Mirror Reflection - When we look in the mirror, we never see an exact reflection of ourselves. We see an opposite. We decide to see what we want to see.

Although painted in Europe at the same time, At the Moulin Rouge in 1892 by Henri de Touloue-Lautrec, and The Scream in 1893 by Edvard Munch, these images  express opposite emotions of gaiety and dread. Andy Warhol's image of Mao, and Paul Klee's painting Senecio, are distanced by time, but this double image reminds us that time creates an imperfect reflection.

 

This is just the beginning of my exploration of the DOUBLE in art. I've always been interested in the double. I was born with a double. I'm a twin. I'd love hear your stories on this theme. Feel free to leave your stories in the comments section.

The latest designs are now on view.

 

Hasta luego amigos.

Val