Archetypal Meeting

trapezeghost_0003This is a painting I did in graduate school in New York City. I was learning about archetypes and had created archetypal characters which had personal narratives in my mind, and I had fun with their stories. I had even more fun having them meet each other.  In this painting, the Grand Master archetype (seen here as a young man) is meeting up with a ghost like image of a trapeze artist (provocateur?) archetype who he idealized. I imagined him seeing her in his memory, in his dreams, in his mind. Often when we’re holding the thought of someone or some past event in our minds, the reality is that that situation no longer exists.  And they are no longer (or never were) who we thought they might be, and like a ghost in a strange play in our minds, they appear and reappear.  They become part of our own inner architecture, but it is only a mirage of our own making.

11 thoughts on “Archetypal Meeting”

  1. I couldn’t look at this painting and not give it a thought! It demands thought — in fact, a painting that doesn’t demand thoughtful attention, has failed to achieve its purpose. Mom

  2. And you can also just look and not give it another thought! Really, I should not say much when showing a painting but since this site is dedicated to some amount of consciousness, I decided to at least give a background to the ideas I was working with in that series of art.

  3. Michael, I know those symbolic heroes are part of the core of your artwork, too, maybe though we have different ways of being figurative artists, we share an idealism and use symbols similarly. I’m glad to hear you’ve met some heroes who turned out to be true friends. I’m trying to think if this is the case with me…I have to think about it!

  4. Jules, thanks for taking it in. Funny to think we’re made up of constructs of our won making sometimes…but not entirely!

  5. YOu know Michael, you are always so supportive and I don’t think I even have anything from undergraduate school anymore!

  6. This is a painting to be looked at, felt, and contemplated upon. It’s a great painting and the subject matter is one that needs deep pondering. Mom

  7. That’s an extraordinary painting! I hope you’ll post more from your studies at SVA (a school I wish I could have attended). I really like these explorations of archetypes and how they impact our psyche. Some archetypes have been heroes in my life, whether they’re in the arts, athletics, politics or my family. Sometimes meeting and getting to know these people can be a crushing disappointment. You come to realize they’re not quite the person you’ve made them out to be. This has happened to me, particularly within my family. On the other hand, I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know artists who I idolized as a kid, and they turned out to far exceed my childhood idolatry. They became valued friends and mentors.

  8. What an interesting perspective on archetypes- this inner life they have… and how they interact with each other and our perceptions of “reality”… I think I will ponder this a bit… Thanks for the inspiration.

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