Visionary Art, Explained (for a change)

Recently I sold two of my older sculpture-paintings and after the check was signed, the collectors asked me to write up “what they mean” … a request that always tantalizes my artist-writer sensibilities. The following explanations of my art might prove interesting to those of you who wonder how an artist works, what thoughts go through our minds as we create, and other “insider” info that you can’t get just by “looking.” Sometimes the viewer needs a “key” or two to unlock the “secrets” an artist (like me) likes to squirrel away, hoping the subconscious stuff I work with will do its job. I’m glad when people ask. But just for the record: I never “tell” the meaning of a piece unless the viewer has had a chance to appreciate it on their own terms. In fact, I insist on NOT talking about symbolism in a piece unless I feel the viewer is genuinely “hooked” and needs to understand more. In this case, the new owners had simply been attracted to the two works for … what? their colors, shapes, sizes, how they matched a couch? God, I hope not! The married couple did not know any of the following subliminal stuff that goes into my works UNTIL after they’d purchased the two pieces. This is their golden ring, the prize of following their guts and appreciating something besides “what’s obvious.”

Here’s the first piece:

family puzzle

Family Puzzle

Family Puzzle, by teZa Lord (tezalord.com)

Made from cut-out plywood with volcanic lava immersed in acrylic medium (for surface texture), this painting’s image signifies how families are. Always a puzzle, but closely fitting each other. In this one of the series (there are four, each different) the strongest image is the central geometric shape, the circle within a triangle (an ancient sign for the Divine, God’s energy) with lightning bolts coming from it … showing how important it is to have God-energy (Spirit) central to one’s life, especially in a family. The rows of grain on the upper left corner signify spiritual and worldly nourishment; the fecund, quiet figure on upper right with her abundant, spilling-over Horn of Plenty, is the Mother, the center of a family’s spiritual understanding. The Father in this dream-like piece (aka visionary) could be interpreted as the central bulls-eye, Divine Father. The two young, fetal-shaped children, stretching their hands out to each other are under-developed in many respects, showing the importance of inter-action for healing and wholeness in familial members, whether siblings or parents. The clock represents my birth time (4:07a) and the circular shapes are “evolving” into actual wheels…showing progress, development … how I see civilization progressing positively. These are recurring themes in all my work. The main color of the “puzzle” shape is earthly, while the figures and space around, are bluish, the color of Spirit. If you look back from the painting you can see two “tri-grams” … comprised of three lines each … painted on either side, right and left (together they form the two balanced hexagrams of the I Ching called Peace, 11, or Standstill, 12; depending on the trigrams’ up and down arrangement). The tri-grams are ancient Chinese symbols signifying Yin and Yang, male and female, dark and light … and here, in the puzzle of family life, they are nicely in balance. The left side is Yin (female, broken lines, note the spiral-shaped breasts and womb geometry), and on the right is Yang (male, unbroken lines, note the masculine shaped arrow, pointing to center).

… and the second piece …

Baby Steps

Baby Steps

Baby Steps by teZa Lord (tezalord.me)

Constructed in a sculptural manner (physically manipulating, grinding, sanding, removing and applying layers of paint over worked volcanic lava on wooden surface, for texture) Baby Steps depicts my version of the continuity of all life, but specifically how the human race itself is upwardly evolving. Usually portrayed as a female, the central figure in my version is a gender-unspecific rendition of the deity called Nut (pronounced Knut), a figure shown in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics that reenacts the movement of the sun from horizon to horizon. Thus, her/his “downward-dog” like position, extending from continent to continent … or from this world to the next, showing that life is eternal, as the sun always rises for us on Earth. As a spiritual activist I believe in the positive upward evolution of humankind, even though at times it seems we’re on the brink of self-annihilation. The “baby-steps” in this work (seen walking from right to left, in bottom quadrant) are made with goopy gold paint applied to an actual doll that I made “walk” across the board this work was created on. Manipulation of the surface is to make the works in this series appear like 3-D stone carvings, rather than 2-D paintings. The colors of mostly blues, represent the spiritual life. The three mountain peaks painted reddish, in the background, are my way of indicating a “female-ness” about the central figure of Nut, although the protrusions usually on Nut’s chest, in this case, I turned upside down. Isn’t it interesting what you get when you ask the artist to “explain a piece”! I know no one would ever “get” this piece without my explanation of the imagery, and that makes it even more thrilling to create (like sending secret prayers into the world, yes!). I’m intrigued by who is attracted to the subliminal stuff within a work, and who isn’t.

Where are you up to, Lordflea?

First Glance, What IS

First Glance, What IS

Second LooK: Hmm, something more than first appearing

Second LooK: Hmm, something more than first appearing

Third time SEEING: under the obvious is the Energy connecting All

Third time SEEING: under the obvious is the Energy connecting All

Hello Friends,

Some blogger, huh, averaging a post a month these recent days. Seriously, folks, this is what happens when you’re writing a book. In my MIND I’m writing all sorts of interesting things. As I fall asleep each night, I can actually visualize the image I’d like to share with you, and how it relates to what I want to say, too. But … when it comes down to whether I take time off of getting the book prepared for the next step, or writing the Lordflea post, putting it up on WordPress (which couldn’t be easier, by the way) I usually opt to not blogging. For this I apologize to anyone who comes and visit and expects BREAKING NEWS a la Lordflea Sings. Naw. Not that kind of fluff here at Lord Flea. Only what’s deep and steadfast, and stands the test of time is what I’m going to share with you.

So here I am deep in the throes of the final stage of this book, that has, since I have been telling you about it, been completely transformed from what I first thought it was going to be. Everything about it has now evolving, becoming something quite different, totally unlike what it first appeared to be. In fact, its former title has disappeared (I won’t even mentioned what that was, so you won’t get confused) and it’s premise has completely changed, also.

Not unlike what happened, many years ago, when I set out to paint what the myth of Apollo and Daphne means to me.

From the first time I heard about this ancient story of love, both unrequitted and obsessively passionate — I’ve been fascinated by how it applies to what all of us experience in our pursuit of love. I must have been barely twenty when I first drew a fleeing woman turning into a tree, something that seems natural to me, nature lover that I am, back then always either chasing or running away from love. In my drawing I put an outstretched arm belonging to some smitten man who was trying to win her back from her drastic state of shape-shifting transformation, all in the name of love. Transformation to something greater, higher, came as natural to my composition as jelly to a peanut butter sandwich. What was truly surprising to me, back then, was when when a friend came to visit me and, standing over my drawing table, told me that I had clearly depicted in my watercolor and black-ink drawing-painting, the iconic story of Apollo and Daphne. Lost to me as a clear memory, but perhaps known by by subconscious and within all our DNA, laid waiting, wondering, resonating — the story of a half-human, half-goddess young woman named Daphne being pursued by the handsome and athletic Apollo, I had indeed drawn the story of these two ill-fated lovers. I had created my own story also.

Years later I visit this same theme again, but this time decided to make a trilogy, a series of what this myth means to me.

I started out with “First Glance” depicting the moment of Daphne’s transformation in a clearly recognizible fashion, although using collage-style cutouts and washes of colors instead of purely classical lines.

First Glance, What IS

First Glance, What IS

The “Second Look” came next, with a squint-like approach to the moment, stripping Daphne of her outer layers, putting her in a more severe posture of angst but using the same, men’s underwear packaging (by Calvin Klein) cutouts for Apollo’s arms. The scene is more raw, more passionate than the first one, don’t you think.

042

And the last image, “Seeing” is the total absorption of Daphne into her new-found energy source, human female as part of nature, with only the underwear-arms of Apollo remaining for us to see that their combined image is the true source of energy that unites all things, whether human, myth, dreams, or what we call the realism of life on earth.

041

This is exactly the process I’m going through, what it’s like writing this book. What I share here today, and will continue to bring you, each time I post for a while now, is more of my art works and how its message relates to what both you and me, and all of us, can apply to our earthly experiences, right here, right now.

We are ONE! Never forget this simple fact. No matter what I’m experiencing, the energy of what I’m doing with my life is part of what you, too, are experiencing, each moment.

In the Light of Oneness,

Lordflea, aka teZa Lord

a peek at my process

i thought it’d be something new and different to share with you one of my drawings BEFORE it’s finished. So, because i just scanned it yesterday, i give you this image. I won’t tell you what it’s about…i want you to guess! See if you can FEEL what the image is speaking. If you like, share your idea with a comment. When the drawing is completed i’ll bring you the finished version, along with MY interpretation of “what it’s all about.” Of course, art is all about ideas. So whatever YOU get out of art is totally honest and right. And what i was thinking as i created it is, well …. just part of the process.

So sit back and gaze into this image, and FEEL what it’s about. in the Light, lordflea

cuba dreams…art and soul

friends,

soon there will be a dawning day in habana, when the celebration of other cultures comes to the island of cuba, and its people open more to others through–ahhh, art!

 

a street in old habana

a street in old habana

art taps the very soul of the human spirit. what better way to open up the minds and hearts of the cuban people, and then, in due order, the economic opportunities of the country–than to celebrate something so wildly different from what each of us experiences everyday.  this is art in its purest, most supreme form. what better way to be “arty” and “soulful” in habana than to celebrate what artists there, and everywhere, continue to do as long as human beings exist on Earth–make glorious, meaningful, emotional art.  in a city known for its former elegance but now struggling to just get by, cuban art celebrates what can’t be spoken (aloud) about. Making art is so different than speaking politics, or having opinions. Art is pure and simple magic–sometimes filled with silliness, or seemingly meaningless things, blown-up costumes, insane characters, weird happenings, hopefully lots of good cheer if not unique ideas–or else realistically somber.  but either way, art provides an opportunity to have some much needed release, and fun!

Green costumes for the parade! Dance! Kiss! Celebrate!

Art is to get outside one-self. Dance! Kiss! Celebrate! Open Up!

the warm and soulful art culture of cuba is alive and well, even though there is also an element of the stern revolutionary-regime wherever you turn in habana.

the military monument dedicated to the revolution of cuba
the military monument dedicated to the revolution of cuba
monument to fidel and che's boat, plane, etc. used to take over batista in '59

monument to fidel and che's boat, plane, etc. used to take over batista in '59

i thoroughly believe that cuba will open up to the world by the efforts of its artists, and the magically subliminal effects of art.

So many artists thrive in cuba! It stunned me to see so much talent for such a small island.

everywhere you look is art in habana!

everywhere you look is art in habana!

 creativity taps the energy within the human soul, and helps to release any pent-up frustrations, or…in the case of cuba…the lack of freedom. More power to the artists of the world! Like the way the iron curtain was lifted by the combined efforts of organized artists, i know, i felt it! a spiritual energy is rippling, right now in habana, infused in the huge outpouring of creativity of cuba’s artists, known and not so well known.

habana street art

habana street art

 

Our Lady of the Indies

Our Lady of the Indies

 

in the capitol building, "Lady Liberty"

in the capitol building, "Lady Liberty"

towel-sculpture made by our hotel maids

towel-sculpture made by our hotel maids

what a glorious day to be free! in my bones i sing the praises of having had the great good fortune of being born in America. God Bless America! Great Spirit Guide our new President Obama! May we, who are lucky enough to be able to live free, continue to help others gain the opportunities we are fortunate to have. Let’s continue sharing what we have with the rest of the world–through art, or through contributing to good causes, or…by simply sending our energy to those who still suffer, through the power of prayer. We are One. Believe in Love. 

reaching out to others with our freedom song

reaching out to others with our freedom song

in the Light, lordflea