Thursday, December 3, 2009

Maria Magdalena II

This is another "Dianization" of my older artwork, this time from Black Coffee series. You can see the original version on the right. It's been done in 2000, but the concept draft has existed since 1996. It was my take on Mary Magdalene, one of the most important women in Christianity. According to Eastern Orthodox belief, she had been a virtuous woman all the way from the beginning, so chaste that the devil thought she might be chosen to bear Christ into the world, so he sent seven demons to sway her from the righteous path.

Interestingly, I wasn't aware of such interpretation back when I did the drawing (inexcusable for an Orthodox Christian, I know), and the connection with it came out completely unintended. But that's the way these "coffee drawings" work -- everything about them is spontaneous and happens on subconscious level, because they are all drawn from the actual coffee grounds, which are supposed to be completely random.

You might ask, what the dog has to do with it. Maybe that's the question for the person who actually drank that cup of coffee, but since I can't really remember who it was, I guess I'll have to answer that myself. Well, in my art (and in life, generally) a dog is a symbol of loyalty and faithfulness, and the chain here should not be considered as means of restraining Magdalena's freedom, but rather a way to keep her feet "on the ground" -- something everybody needs when standing on the edge of a crumbling rock.

So here it is -- the brand new version of Maria Magdalena, featuring Diana as the model. I must say, it takes some courage to pose for such a tough theme, with its controversial and somewhat disturbing imagery. But for me there are no forbidden themes in art, and I'm happy that Diana shares my stance on it. Maria Magdalena II is the first artwork to feature her full frontal nudity, and she managed with grace, beauty and the complete understanding of the subject, for which I'm very grateful.


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