Wednesday, June 29, 2011

summer portraits

Here are a couple of the portraits I have been working on this summer.  They are oil on board. xoxo

The idea I am working on this summer is that of the connection of rationality and the soul.  Western historical philosophers have pointed out that men are typically more inclined to rationality and women are more inclined to be nurturing and instinctual.  This was all fine and well, until some religious philosophers decided that rationality was an indicator of the soul, and hence women, children, and animals (in connection with nature) have been grouped together as an identifiable 'other' in western society due to their apparent lack of rationality and hence, a soul. 

These ideas are centuries old and so integrated into our culture that we rarely recognize them unless we look very hard.  Something very interesting happened during the Surrealist movement at the beginning of the twentith century: as men were connecting women to nature and the child, women took the idea and ran with it.  Surrealist men decided that woman was the gateway to creativity and because of man's lack of instinct and connection to nature, they needed woman as a key to the unconcious.  These women, who were sometimes also artists, were often socially inhibited by these ideas (again, being seen only valuable as a tool for man).  However, in the end, these women used their instinct to create many wonderful pieces long after the end of the Surrealist movement.  I feel like much of the creative liscence I have today can reflect upon the men and women of surrealism and their drive to tap into universal creativity. 

Anyhow, here are a couple portraits that are almost finished in relation to these ideas.

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