Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Perspective is a Funny Thing

My friend and coworker has this painting. He told me it was disturbing but he couldn't figure out why. When I first looked at it, I saw an eye and brow turned on its side that related to nothing else. I've added some red to point out the eye and eye brow that I saw. If you double click the picture you'll see the red better. To me, it looked like a Dali-like attempt at painting a disjointed face. I understood why my friend was disturbed.
Then I noticed the real problem. This is a picture of a woman on her back, defending herself from an assault. The eye and brow I saw are her head and her arms up in a defensive position. The white portion of her body will always remain pure and goddess-like no matter what happens. But the assault is taking her spirit and soul on a very dark journey. I shared this with my friend and he disliked it so much that he offered to give me the painting. 

Suddenly, I had an idea. I turned the picture like this:

This is now a woman skiing at night. He decided to keep the painting.

There is so much here to talk about. However, this is my blog so I will talk about what I found so remarkable about this.

1) On the exact same day I saw this picture, Frater RO posted about disturbing art he saw. I like coincidences like that.

2) Black and white photos have always intrigued me. But after evoking a shemhamphoresch angel to visible appearance, I perceive black and white as showing the duality of "God" manifest in Malkuth. I find stark black and white to be a spiritual thing of the highest order. 

I now appreciate the traditional temple floor and certain other things I won't talk about here that are black and white.

3) This is another example of what IS. The artist intended this to be disturbing. Much of her other work is dark and foreboding as well. There is nothing inherently disturbing in black and white paint. There is nothing disturbing about a woman on her back in that position. Someone out of frame may be about to give her a baby that she will play with on the floor. Yet, when our jaded eyes see something, even something we do not fully see, we apply meaning. The meaning we apply does not alter the thing and often does not even come close to accurate description. Internally, we hold that meaning dear and project it outwards. 

This is the death nell for a magician. We must learn to see what is. When we don't, we see what we are. Even if we are damn near accurate regarding the thing, the subtle shades of our thoughts are us, not what IS. The only way to see what is, is to be IS. 

4) As soon as I saw this painting I thought the the artist was 'one of us'. From the titles of some of her other works, I would say she is at the very least tangentially related to occult work.


Suecae Sounds said...

Perspective is indeed a very interesting phenomena. Like many of your recent posts it provokes my thought in a good way.

Something relating to your idea of what IS, is how artists are able to convey different emotions to different people based on their own experience etcetera. Sometimes there isn't a clear IS from the artists point of view, but rather an open vista free for interpretation.

Being a magus one understands that the interpretation is not the all of the art.

Again, your posts are thought provoking. :)

Tryph said...

everyone has a diferent corner on niewing the things he sees
I see an old woman crossing the road
and an another one sees his mother or grandma crossing the road and feels something like helping her thats just an example

Tryph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gordon_Finn said...

The double clicking isn't working. It just looks like a little gnome that's sitting in an oval.

Lavanah said...

Perspective is a funny thing. I didn't see the painting as disturbing. Nor did I see the eye. I saw the woman, on her back, right from the start, but rather than fending someone off, I saw her as reaching for someone.

Eh, just call me Pollyanna. :)

My Gal said...

I am with Lavanah here, I saw no attack just the woman. Perspective is an odd thing indeed.