The egg. If we eat the egg the energy contained inside the egg is transferred into our body. If we crack open the egg and let the contents drain out, the energy in the egg is transferred into the soil—or the landfill, its potential wasted, or maybe fertilizing the soil. If the egg is incubated, the energy contained inside grows into another being. No wonder the egg is seen as mystical.
In the Christian tradition the egg is seen as a metaphor for resurrection, the act of rising from the dead or returning to life. Resurrection also means the act of bringing back to practice, notice, use or revival.
In my most recent painting titled, “Allegory of the Artist,” I used symbols of Easter to tell my story of resurrecting my practice of art. I started this work in March with the promise of spring approaching. It’s been a long, cold winter in South Dakota and the thoughts of a warm spring time with Easter approaching were on my mind. I’m a Christian who doesn’t attend church but believes in the principles of Christianity. I believe in talents as being God given. After giving up practicing art for almost a decade, resurrection of a talent with a lot of hope added is on my mind constantly.
In “Allegory of the Artist” the fingers in the sky hold an egg, the promise of life, of returning spring, hope for the future. Energy, rays of light intersect on the highlight of the egg. Light, sun, hope, positivity spread forth from the choppy spring sky with the cross nestled into the clouds. Rays of light shoot from the eyes of the American Jack Rabbit and the Rhode Island Red rooster. Rabbit and chicken are both common in the commercialized presentation of the Easter holiday but with their roots in far deeper meaning beginning with pagan symbols of fertility, and Christian symbols of vigilance against evil and ability to flee from evil. Rabbits also stand for fertility—lots of life to come.
The other painting I feature here is titled “Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man” created by Salvador Dali in 1943 as he visited the United States. Of course, 1943 was the height of the struggle of World War II. I admire Dali for his great skill as painter. He is a man, and therefore this painting looks very masculine in my opinion. Dali is known as being a Surrealist painter. Surrealism is an artist’s presentation of realistic images in a way that could not possibly happen in real life and often looks dreamlike or totally irrational. Surrealism didn’t come about until the 20th Century, probably as a reaction to more study of mind and thought processes, like psychotherapy and psychology really coming into their own as a recognized discipline in the earlier parts of the 20th century.
In “Geopoliticus Child…” Dali uses the egg to show North America emerging as the preeminent world power during the struggle of World War II with England in its grip. Blood flows from inside of the egg onto the ground showing loss of life that North Americans sacrificed to the world war effort. Really in 1943 no one knew what the outcome of the war would be, so the grip of the figure’s hand over England could be seen as potential rescue or perhaps devastating. Now we know that North America, and the United States in particular, was crucial in assisting England and Europe to save itself from the despotism of Hitler and the Nazis. The color scheme in this painting is not as bright and does not bring forth thoughts of happiness. To me, it is a rather ominous work, as many of Dali’s paintings are. To me Dali is full of rather nightmarish images, but to each his own, just as many people love watching horror flicks.
So here we have two presentations of the egg. One as very hopeful and with more of a Christian spiritual slant, the other egg as containing a struggle that no one at the time knew how it would end up being resolved. I wonder how this artist’s struggle will be resolved?