Cosmo by blankfrancine ()
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Digital collage,created with the Gimp.
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Image Comments (14)
Another of your historical pastiches, and as fascinating as the others; and in this one, you have so many symmetries/near-symmetries, you've made a very presentational piece, as if it were made for royalty or for the church. Ceremonial may be a better word... You've always done such intricate and fascinating work with ceremonious presentation: The background is a decorative wall-covering, with the usual layers of floral, organic, and geometric layers, which is broken-into---symmetrically too---with the back of a human torso (one right-side-up, one upside down), and with bits from maps, along with a city corner (or something like that). These 'intrusions' are often wonderful visual accents which you choose from your encyclopedic backlog of memory and image. I love how you use maps, etchings and old photos to accent spaces, in addition to play with your many themes. Then you have the central 'plaque'---where much of the ceremoniousness comes from, the sense of overwrought religious rite. It appears to be a large halo around a face---harking back to religious symbolism east and west (Buddhist art has huge creature-laden halos just as Christian art does, as I'm sure you know). The "halo," here, isn't replete with angels or celestial creatures, but with geometric traversals of spheres or triangles. (There's actually something kabbalistic about those forms.) The central head is a cosmonaut---where, I assume, you get your title: We see the beginning of the "CCCP". (If the face is familiar, forgive me for not knowing who it is...perhaps it's a famous cosmonaut?) But he's surrounded by pure iconography, figures from Christian imagery mummified as sleeves. And, once again, you've played with gender, making this cosmonaut both male and female. (Stravinsky used major and minor modes simultaneously the way you use male and female simultaneously. You're mixing modes, visually.) He/She's wearing a big formal dress. And the dress is segmented with insects or some other creatures on them. You have other potent and unexplained symbols, a saint tied up (from several paintings of religious figures), one of your iconic eyes, a large insect---also one of your iconic images, often symbolizing some kind of primal life coming to fruition, where the insect's forms have a regal quality to them. Two naked bodies looking like Adam and Eve, another iconic lizard---lizards often symbolize the primal to us, but in your pieces they're often very formal, as if our subliminal primal urges have been formalized, made ceremonious. And a panel of hieroglyphs, surrounded by two---well, traders? There appears to be a ledger on them, and the word "Amount," indicating commerce. A pastiche of endeavors, woven into this religious/social montage. How much of this is pertinent to Russian history, I don't know: You know a great deal more about Russian and Soviet history (perhaps are expert at it). But the whole has a feeling of a cultural tapestry, replete with religious symbolism, with sexuality woven throughout---to the detriment of the religious underpinnings---two cup-like things on either side which are maybe breast figures, and the face of a modern scientific explorer right in its midst! As always, very suggestive, and a wonderful parody as well. These quasi-religious/social/historical pastiches are always so suggestive, from you. But they're also pleasing montage and compositions, as well as visual commentaries on the art of the past. A marvelous piece of visual play and dialogue (you get Talmudic with lots of commentary on commentary on commentary). I could never do this in a million years: These come from your perceptions 'full formed', it seems, and they're always magical.