Surreal Universe | colored pencil on foamcore
Shem is the Hebrew version of the Sumerian word MU which means "that which goes skyward." Ancient texts describe "gods" circling the earth in their MU, MU's rising skyward in a cloud of smoke and fire, etc. All evidence points to the objects as being rocket craft that the "gods" possessed. The actual representation is based on the Victory Stele of Naram-Sin
This piece was done during some troubling times with my other. The seven clocks represent seven days, the face with the roman numerals "24" signifies all of each day, and the entire cluster represents that, 24-7, she had no time for me (hence the missing hands). This also relates to the all-important day planner TL and how it caused me to "cry" (represented as my n symbol with tears pouring off).
As dictated by my surreal subject code, animals are forbidden in the pieces. I have made a few exceptions, since the human form is the only practical way to illustrate creation and sexuality. The man behind the kitchen window and the woman behind bathroom wall show how sexuality isn't an active part of the universe. Instead, the sperm attempts to bridge the gap between itself and the woman, symbolic of my struggle to understand woman and succeed in relationships (plus the sexuality). Yeah, good luck, me.
Like in the last piece, the DNA strands flowing from the sky (heavens or asteroid belt) into the structures (on earth) represent how the gods used DNA to fashion mankind (expressed by the structures). Originally, the DNA was represented at a slighty twisted ladder, not like its accepted scientific form presented in this piece.
The tendril and plants take influence from many landscapes I do. An extension of the Surreal Series was a mono print entitled "Tendril" in which the form above was a dominant aspect. I hinted in my last piece that I would be using it, and, in fact, the mantle is still preserved in this piece (on the left). The form is suitable for the surreal universe because it is recognizable as flora but is not of any real species.
Ancient South American architecture is the inspiration for the design of this gate. It is a "surrealized" interpretation of the gate to the city of gold that the Spanish conquistadors encountered. Accounts tell of a city of tens of thousands citizens with an enormous gilded temple surrounded by an artificial garden (depicting crops, etc.) of precious stones and a thickly gold plated gate. Inside the temple, there was an large, reflective solid gold disk. This description is similar to Mesopotamian and Biblical representations of the throne room of heaven.
Based on an object found at the "eye temple" at Tell Brak, in northwestern Mesopotamia. The object symbolized a divine object, such as Nintura's "terrible eye," or what was present at mission control in Nippur. An ancient text described the object as a "raised eye scans the land...the raised beam searches the land." These objects were used to both examine the land and allow the gods to communicate with other distant gods, just like modern satellites.
Although this piece was done during a troubling time between my other and I, it still incorporates symbols of her. As much as I wish things had turned out better, they didn't. I don't regret the symbolism. The refrigerator represents how awkward I felt with food around her, the lips represent her sweet lips, and the heart with a "b" in it represented my respect (not really love) for her, and the placement of the refrigerator makes it part of the whole sexuality theme.
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