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Leading the leader

Painting/concrete, with quote:

Click for bigger size.
"An idea, emerging (Return to the point of departure)". Acrylics on manipulated paper, mounted on paper. 2018. 30x42 cm

Click image for large size, or read on for a brief and interesting discussion with some food for thought ...

The quote mentioned above is the central "incomplete" character, painted using a black outline to provide a transparent "ghost-like" appearance. This qoute is from a 1830 painting by Eugène Delacroix, titled La Liberté guidant le peuple (Liberty leading the people). This painting, in turn, was allegedly the original source of inspiration for the (perhaps more well-known) monument "Liberty Enlightening the World" (known as "Statue of Liberty") in New York, USA.

In the Delacroix painting, "Liberty" is painted as a woman ("Marianne") holding a flag. However, if you examine this painting closely you will see that "Liberty" is not leading at all. She is at least one step behind the character quoted here.

This "little boy" character is actually leading "Liberty" herself. So, what is the significance here? To cut a long story short, he is "The Idea". The idea always comes first. I should add that this is my personal interpretation of the role of this character; other observers may have quite different opinions.

In the Delacroix painting the idea is already established, and has even gained traction. In this painting, however, we are at a far earlier stage; the emergence of the idea. The "unfinished" or "ghost-like" painting style of my painting above should reflect this fact when compared to the "finished" or "realistic" Delacroix character.

Food for thought

I believe it safe to say that all progress must lead, not to further progress, but finally to the negation of progress, a return to the point of departure.
"The Journal of Eugene Delacroix : A Selection (1980), p 97"

A torch, such as eg. the one from the "Statue of Liberty", is a symbol of progress. There is no torch in my painting, and no liberty, in stead there is freedom. The idea is emerging, being born, it has not yet been contaminated or held hostage to serve some agenda or other. In the Delacroix painting this character holds a handgun in his right hand. In my painting the gun has been replaced by a finger. The finger raised by the character could well be either the index finger, or the middle finger.

2018.09.06 20:49 in Painting

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