Friday, June 24, 2016

The Divided Self

I painted this a few days ago, and have very mixed feelings about it.  I love it because I feel it was painted THROUGH me; completely un-influenced by anything I've seen painted by anyone else, which is rare:  more often my paintings are inspired either by something someone else has done or by something I've done in the past that someone else has liked.

I also love a lot of the color in it, the way the colors beneath poke through, and the way the interference gold on it gleams (trust me: in person the gold is yummy!)

But the division of it bothers me: I love the ethereal quality of the right side of the painting, but the darkness, the rigidity, and the sensuality of the left side, while I wouldn't change them exactly, made me reluctant to post it here -- which is why I cropped and inverted the right side and posted it a couple of days ago. 

But this morning, after hearing of the division of Britain, which, in its own way, reflects the very painful division in our own country, I immediately thought of this painting.

And now I see that it needs to be called "The Divided Self," and that it depicts both the pain and the potential of that division.  Though I couldn't see it when I first painted it, I now understand that somehow the agony of labor is tied to the pain of division; that in the birthing of something new we are no longer concerned only with our own welfare but with that of others/another, while at the same time something we held close and dear is now separate, released into the world to stand on its own; that we can no longer guarantee its safety; no longer protect it as completely as we were once able, and have no choice but to realize how very frightening the world can be.

It is, in a way, the loss of illusion: we are forced to face the darker side of things.  And that's not easy.

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