ReflectionsMarch 20, 2011
I love art that studies reflection, such as Salvador Dalí‘s Swans Reflecting Elephants that you and I scrutinized like old pros. It’s okay; I think we’re allowed to critique art whether we are pros or not. It’s a risk an artist takes when placing his work into the consciousness of the public. They must be truly driven to show their work to others, to seemingly not notice or care who sees and says what, or have skin made of rubber. Artists expose bits of their souls, and it’s difficult to expose such vulnerability to the cruel and fickle masses.
My admiration goes to minds that work and see the world in a unique fashion, and Dali certainly had one of those minds. I loved discovering one of his paintings with you. Although I had seen some of Dali’s work before I am not a fan of most of it. This one, however, speaks to me. It flies in the face of the very basics in life. Reflections are replicas of their originals—or are they? Maybe Dali saw things we can’t see. His swans and elephants make me question the very basic ideas of reflection, and of equal and opposite. Could we change even physics by altering perception? Check out Schrödinger’s cat.
It’s probably not surprising that M. C. Escher completed some pieces in which he was reflecting—something. Maybe one day we’ll figure out precisely what that was. In addition to showing a reflected version of himself, he seemed to be reaching for something. Maybe he was showing us the fragility of our own perceptions. After all, what is upside down to one who is upside down? What is beauty but a mask of reflected light, hiding the reality of what is underneath?
Is he trying to magnify, show us detail we may be missing?
Expose something unexpected?
Confuse a puddle with a portal to another, opposite and upside down world?
Gain control of his place in the world?
Tentatively seek other worlds above and below? Even the trees in this piece seem to be reaching, and the upper world that is reflected looks cold and barren. But there’s that fish, trying to see it anyway.
By the way, the fish in the above image looks more like the fish on Jenny’s leg. I need to ask her to find an image of it online or send a photograph because we can’t just call her over anymore, can we? It’s such a shame how we scatter.
****Correction (again, about Jenny’s leg) – 4/2/11 – Jenny’s leg doesn’t have an Escher fish at all! It’s a foreign fish! Sigh. Below are images of her left (fish) and right (head) thighs, from hip to knee. Big one tattoos, those.****