Love is in the Air, Says Aphrodite
Simply to use paint with all its magic would certainly be reward enough, but to have a theme makes a venture like painting of this series exceedingly exciting. We are in a world of symbols, which can be viewed for their purely narrative effect, enjoying the line, colour, clarity, balance and whatever enters the viewer’s head.
Yet each painting has its own handwritten description, largely tongue in cheek, words chosen carefully and like a key to unlock the deeper meaning of the work, for in fact, on a more serious level, we are passing humanity in review, at the same time we examine Aphrodite’s activity among us. A bemused yellow cow looks up to see lovers float by on Cloud Nine, totally self-absorbed victims of the irresistible chemical attraction of True Love. For Love is in the air, and mankind is longing to possess it.
As the American wit says:
“Love doesn’t make the world go round…
but it’s what makes the ride worthwhile!”
The Ancients with their love of storytelling were experts at the personification of psychological phenomena and the aspects of the physical world. Atropos, one of the fates, will snip the thread of life at the appropriate moment, and Charon the ferryman will convey us to Hades where Pluto reigns supreme, God of the Underworld.
I imagine it must be much more cheerful up above, where, to the delight of the waiting populace, Aphrodite has leapt out of the sea foam and headed for shore. Now we see the extent of her activity and the despair, uncertainty, ecstasy and exhaustion she can cause among humankind with all their pathos, vanity, egotism and idiocies. What of the wicked seducer hissing words from under the parasol to the beach beauty? Will the show-off water skier manage to cut him off? And is all really fair in love and war? The fact is we long to be loved and to love!!! So meditate with me on some of these matters.
I am sometimes accused of being a caricaturist. I can only say that I do indeed take an optimistic view of life, but remember that as Socrates tells us, “everything has an opposite, and that joy is coupled with sorrow.”
And please, never forget that I am a painter, using paint and honouring the god-given gift by endless striving.
Dare I quote you a soul boosting comment from Douglas MacDiarmid, when I sent him a couple of images of the show:
“Your colours grow more luminous and fresher each time.