Sunday, September 19, 2010

Madonna Moderni: Mother of Our Times

13 x 11" mixed media

This will hang at the Spirit Room as part of an exhibit with other artists from FMVA entitled "Playing With Proportions" beginning October 2nd. I have always been fascinated with how artists throughout history have altered human body proportions in order to communicate certain things. For instance, the Egyptians depicted Pharoh as a flat, 2-dimensional being with an extremely stiff gesture, while slaves, animals and other unimportant beings were actually made to look quite realistic. And with Byzantine-style Madonnas (which I have "sampled" here) the whole business of depicting God required certain conventions. No more simple, humble human shepherd boy; instead, while God may be part human, being a god trumps all, and we better not forget who's boss (that, and the fact that the East had overrun Europe....) Instead we get gold "otherworldly" backgrounds, odd elongated body parts, and children look just like adults-- only smaller.

This got me thinking about the proportions of an idea instead of a thing, that our thinking about
some things may have grown oddly out of proportion to what the former thinking had been.

Then, I started thinking about how it is said that today's youth are taking longer and longer to grow up, depending upon the hearth and home of their parents. Adults, but children still. However, NOT just like us. They communicate differently, more quickly, in less depth, and without visual cues, gestures or nuance as we understand it to be.

Perhaps evolution will adapt their body parts to reflect their worship of a new god. Hence, Madonna Moderni.

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