14 x 17 Gouache, Radiograph Pens, 23.75 K Monastery Gold Leaf, Silver Paint, Wildfire Luminescent paint, and Collage
I did finished this piece when I was 25 years old. I conceived the idea for this piece around 2010, so in all from the beginning of when this piece was conceived in my mind to its finish took about 3 years. This doesn’t mean I’ve worked on it every day, but was doing research and thinking about how to solve some visual problems which took much contemplation and accurate planning/drafting.
This piece has to do with human construct of the world from the human perspective, because after all as humans that’s all that is concerning us, ourselves, although we are destroying and polluting our planet without realizing that it will bite us in the ass sooner or later, because global warming is not a myth, it’s scientifically proven and no politician or corporation will convince me otherwise because all they care about is currency.
This piece is called philosophy because it deals with the human’s place in our world, as well as human psyche which in reality defines human history at its most accurate.
I have separated the 9 largest religions in the world (Starting with Christianity moving clockwise: Christianity, Jainism, Bahá’í Faith, Sikhism, Shinto, Buddhism , Islam , Hinduism, and Judaism), they are all connected together by a triangle that also leads to some extremist ideologies such as Nazism, White Supremacy, and Communism which states that sometimes a human can use a religion to justify their own extremist views(That is why I changed each religious sign a little bit to expand on that concept how some humans use belief systems and religions as tools for control, although in the beginning of our civilization it was necessary to keep order, however now it has become more of a cultural and a historic initiative, although the religion doesn’t openly intend on doing that, and I believe that religions have to adapt to the time in which they exist, just like humans, our belief systems have to evolve in the changing world around us within reason, though religion did a lot of great things in terms of human moral development which it definitely needs to be credited for like morality, without religion we wouldn’t have an understanding of what is good and what is bad. An idea has so much power, although it does not exist in our 3 dimensional worlds, it does exist somewhere and although not physically real, has a profound impact on our physical three dimensional existences which was proven time and time over again. It stands to state that extremism/fundamentalism in anything can lead to catastrophic consequences, like over 100 million casualties who died over Marx’s idea of Communism which was perverted, misused, although Karl Marx intended his idea to help the workers being exploited, but it was taken to an extreme starting with Vladimir Lenin, elevating the mass murder rate by Joseph Stalin, and topping it off with the biggest mass murderer of all time Chairman Mao Zedong who is responsible for around 75-100 million deaths alone. The world was not meant for one religion or one ideology, it is meant for everyone, all of us, so if you don’t have respect and tolerance toward someone’s culture and religion, then you have no respect for your own culture and religion, thinking beyond to see the big picture, that your own view is your own and inflicting your own views on other people forcefully is the same thing as rape or a form of rape, and rape is a sin in any religion.
All those ideas started as someone’s idea to change the world, but what was not realized was that either there can’t be just one idea for a utopian environment because it is bound to conflict with other people’s interests. Either that or it will be perverted by at least one person the way it was with communism. Now I’m not just arguing against communism, but look at capitalism at its peak(Snake in the form of a dollar sign on the top of the skull ), to me it seems as though it is bound on economic collapse sooner or later, from the day we are born we are looked as a statistic, we came into this world against our own will and are stuck in this sort of matrix society for the rest of our lives, because like Pink Floyd’s lyrics state, “All and all you are just another brick in the wall.” Now I am not arguing against capitalism, because it is certainly better than communism at its worst but nonetheless it’s not a perfect system, just like all humans are flawed, the system they are bound to create are flawed as well. However there is a belief that DNA or genetics play a big role into who you become, people have no control into how they are born, however I feel that all human DNA is so similar, it’s not about which race is better, but who works harder as well as smarter, that is just my opinion because I don’t have any negative or positive biases. Then when we grow up and contribute to the work force we become a commodity with our hands and minds who is still a number in society, then when we retire we are just looked upon as a useless statistic in our society unless you are that 1% that made a fortune that’s why I put silver paint on the old man’s walking cane stick handle, the child’s DNA and the man’s feet, hands, as well as head stating that humans are a commodity in terms of social working class statistic, because what capitalism seems to value more than anything is efficiency, and that spectacle in the pop culture psyche penetrates everyone who is nurtured by their capitalist environment. Also the decreasing amount of dots from child to old man symbolizes the notion of time.
The skull in the middle, I applied gold leaf to the tooth to display that most people are attracted to money and not someone’s individual character as much as money in capitalist society. Which brings into question whether we have a soul or not, I think we do (the inside of the skull lights up in the dark due to luminescent paint) but we mostly let our environment affect us without us even noticing it because it happens gradually, since the time you are a kid to the time you become an adult, you learn to adapt.
On the skull’s left side there is a ying yang sign( which is also another belief system called Taoism) which goes to show that humans in my opinion do have a consciousness and there is a constant battle inside between the good and the evil, because that’s how life is, nobody is perfect.
One of my favorite quotes by Oscar Wilde which goes to prove my point further is: “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”
On the inside circle you see an ape evolving into a human, going counter clock wise because I believe eventually if humans don’t change their ways about abusing mother earth, we will all suffer the consequences, we would be a species responsible for our own destruction. We evolved from an ape who had a good starting anatomy for some species that could use it more efficiently(like our hands and feet) to another further evolution from which we started walking standing up, that made humans more efficient because not only could they move but they could also use their hands for something other than walking. We started using tools and socially(passing our knowledge to future generations as well as our DNA) , worked and hunted. Eventually we became modern humans who gained control of Earth through civilizations and the quest for knowledge. However in the end there is a snake in the form of a question mark which symbolizes, that anything bites us of which we don’t know and can’t possibly get our answer scientifically or any way to prove it, such as the question if God exists and if he does what role do humans play in existence and where do we go when we die, are we simply disposable pieces of matter or does our soul live on in another existence. I created the Bahá’í Faith symbol with a different contrast than it is in it’s original state at that part of the design due to this being a very serious question which concerns every human being as well as making this mistake stating that I’m a human being and am not perfect, only God is perfect. (Definition of God: Ultimate teaching force in the universe.)
Whether it’s the search for God, Nirvana, Universal Truth, Creation, etc. What ever you want to call it, essentially all religions lead to one ideal of something higher than we are, however on Earth we separated ourselves with religions, when really we have to take a look at how similar our beliefs are because they are forcing us to elevate ourselves toward something higher and greater. That is one thing I admire about humans, is their curiosity and the questioning our own existence, although other animals on earth accept and don’t question life, I honestly don’t know who is more correct, humans or animals, however I do know that humans are hardwired with curiosity, and that aspect made us progress as a civilization through our history.
The outer spires on the outside represent the four seasons we go through every year, with yellow being Summer, green is Spring, orange is Autumn, and cyan is Winter. There are exactly 361 spires, 360 representing every degree of the circle, but the hidden one I marked with black ink to show that there is always a hidden factor in life’s equations, like who knew that there would be a horrible Tsunami in Indonesia in 2004. Each spire is a little different to show that no day or any moment is exactly the same.
In the inside fill in area I used 18 different colors with 1 value which is black gouache paint. Every single color I used touches at least one of each color by itself to show the variety of people in the world and how everyone mixes and mingles, as well as everyone is connected. I personally think variety makes the world a better place, thank God Nazis didn’t win World War II, because afterwards would be a terrible existence for the human race, I just hope that fundamentalism in any shape and form doesn’t come back on a grand scale. Also the fact that I used 18 colors, 18 divided by 3 (God (In Christianity): Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; The stippling I filled it in with .3 pen stating that very reason which is the holy trinity) is 6, so there is 666 in it to show that evil and good is one, it is all connected, because without good we wouldn’t know evil and without evil we wouldn’t know what good is, and it also goes with the saying “the devil is in the details.”
I once talked to a Rabbi, and asked him, where does your religion state people go when they die? He answered, “They are with God after they passed.”
Then I asked him, about someone like Hitler, and his answer was that he is also with God. His belief was that even evil is part of God(I’m not saying God is evil, I believe that God is good and all loving but the fact the evil exists serves a purpose of knowing the difference between good and evil), that God made this existence for a reason and everything that occurs wouldn’t occur without God’s permission. This definitely made me think quite further on this idea.
I believe that everything is connected together like a puzzle which this piece represents, although we as humans separate ourselves with our cultures, political views, and religious beliefs, with only focusing on our differences without noticing the similarities, and the idea which all humans seek to elevate themselves to something greater which can either be called, Nirvana State, Search for God, Peace, and Love. I just hope in the future humans will evolve more morally to see how similar we all are and find a common language between each other. Because the Universe is expanding and there is room for moving forward, working together opposed to against each other, and the holiest of all procedures is creation itself. All our ideals, religious beliefs, passions, and love leads to just one truth, which is what we are all looking for…The answer of who we are, why we exist, and elevation to bigger questions of life, like our search for One God, and One Truth whether it’s through science or spirituality, it doesn’t matter, it’s in our human psyche to be curious and keep searching from our tiny little speck in the endless Universe. Every religion in my opinion leads to One God and one Truth, although we separate them here on earth and argue about who is more correct, while creating our own social constructs which are false compared to what was given to humans as the first rules of moral standards which are the 10 Commandments that in my opinion are perfect for how a society should function. In my opinion as well, we are all made of love and I never understood why hate exists, and why there is place for something like hate. I truly believe that love can change the world, but this piece focuses more on in a nutshell, how every religion leads to One Creator, while the ideologies we as human beings create are all false and have down side, I guess the true evil lies in human being’s freedom of choice, like the way history repeats itself and how we mistreat each other with genocides and prejudice beliefs. All religions essentially lead to a higher elevation of spirit, which raises awareness and moral standards of humans for which I am definitely for within reasonable none-harsh rules, while our own human construction leads us to become greedy and corrupt, you make your choice and see which is better, the human constructs, or religions which elevate the spirit. It’s interesting that within Christ’s time we have made major leaps in terms of science and technology but hardly any within moral standards. I personally believe in God, and am a reformist Jew by religion, but I treat every single religion with respect due to each one leading to the same mountain, only with different ladders.
“God may not exist but we should all live with the same moral standards as though he does.”
My grandfather Yakov Minskoy
1918 – 1997R.I.P.
Every artist is a philosopher, and the more I study visual language, I feel that I understand The Intelligent Design, a little better with time.