Androgyne & Chimpanzee
A Tribute to Mary Ellen Mark / Francis Ford Coppola 22"x28" 2019-2021
It is very innate that an artist would transfer his/her messages via a selected medium. As a quite silent activist, I do the same and visually would try to increase human-beings’ life quality across concepts and would like to put my nano-footprint on the Blue Planet before going to die. Attachment is one of my paintings and its explanation in detail as an essay:
Title: Androgyne & Chimpanzee, Oil on Canvas, 22”x28”, 2019-2021
A Tribute to Mary Ellen Mark & Francis Ford Coppola
Thanks to Rosalinda Celentano & Marlon Brando
It belongs to a painting series that is called “Antique Future” ( https://www.leon47.com/futuro-antico-antique-future-xlvii ). This name comes from Angelo Branduardi’s music albums (Futuro Antico); an Italian composer and singers. Subjectively the aim of this painting series is influencing people to look at the history as the great instructor and increasing their individual life quality conceptually. That Ideally could lead us to get social improvements too.
After Industrial Revolution, modern human being dramatically has kept going forward on his own way, reaching out what is so called “achievements” without paying attention to our planet as a huge organism. This pioneer species hopes that could be capable to find happiness in the outside world by acquiring things (money, materials, products, services, higher social positions, …). In this way, the fact that as an animal we are a part of nature - not superior - has been forgotten. We have lost living in harmony with Mother Nature and instead, have been trying to dominate it. This misleading approach as a matter of fact, has reduced the life quality and our life style already has affected remarkably the Earth since nature has revolted against us with hurricane, global warming and new peril viruses and bacteria. Apparently when we do not allow Mother Nature to stay balanced by herself, she riots against us to get balanced again.
With “Antique Future” paintings, I try to emphasize on a prompt necessity of rethinking about our rapport with environment. Through my artwork, a modern man/woman typically with an old fashion clothing style stares at contemporary viewers strongly and demandingly.
This specific painting represents nature as a unity: human, animal, plant, earth and sky. The protagonist is an Androgyne who lives in harmony with nature. Right part of the face is Marlon Brando while the left part illustrates Rosalinda Celentano’s portrait (a female lesbian Italian actress). The Chimpanzee (our closest mammal species) as the connecting bridge between human being and other animals, accompanies Androgyne. They are looking seriously at us and at our artificial world, trying to ask 21st-century humans: “What you guys are doing with the Globe?”
The idea comes from “Androgyne Myth” of Plato & Aristophanes in which - very briefly – Zeus, instead of killing all ancient immortal strong human being’s, decided to divide the corpus in two parts. The ancient human had been figured by two heads, four hands and four legs. Thus we - as the new form of humans - have become feeble and mortal. New form of human being had understood that will pass away and started to make patrimony and inheritance for his/her existence; what remains after dying.
Therefore, straight males (divided from two males) and females (divided from two females) started to find each other for reproduction. In the same way, an Androgyne (divided from one male and one female) started to find another Androgyne with the same gender but in case of not being capable to reproduce, they started to create Art, Architecture and Literature.
The direct conceptual message that I try to transmot through this artwork is the fundamental necessity of modern-times humans to follow androgynous lifestyle. I think even straight men and women have to think like that. Instead of reproduction materialistically, we have to try to find meaning of life through ideas, through inside world. That should be the unique radical method to saves the Planet and increasing the life quality. Thinking like an Androgyne is essential to avoid ruining the Earth, we need to learn searching for happiness in “the World of Ideas”, it is a concept that Plato recounts via “Allegory of the Cave”.
In “Allegory of the Cave”, he narrates that how our conceptions about the reality changes dramatically when we move gradually from the world of thing towards the world of ideas. How far is the conception of life for whom living in the world of things (chained at the end of the cave) from the reality which is outside the cave.
I am trying to connect “Allegory of the Cave” with “Androgyne Myth”. Most of us have a checklist to get gratified: a better job with more money, a bigger house, a modern car, desirable vacation, and last but not least reproduction. In my perspective, instead of being more and more connected with the world of things, we need to pick up the solitary unusual alternative.
Apparently, Earth does not capable to keep eight billion inhabitants. Facts like shortage of natural resources, air pollution and recent pandemic clearly shows it. Population should be reduced with a serious prompt international strategy. I am NOT talking about governments, NGOs or UN as leaders of this uprising. It should be a revolutionary action of individuals. It must be done before Nature by itself starts to balance human population. In the worst-case scenario and subsequent to a natural disaster, humans in specific geographical zone will start to fight and kill each other for the essential needs.
We have been hearing a lot about crucial requirement for fighting against inequality, injustice, poverty, fundamentalism, unemployment, mass immigration, social conflicts, … but I think we have missed the big image that over-population and consequently shortage of resources have been caused many of those issues. Even for a fish tank there is a standard that defines what kinds and how many fish with which sizes could live together peacefully; in a good physical and mental condition. It is a very simple - not easy - concept that human being has forgot for decades. Talking about the underwater world, I would like to mention that when I was 10-year-old, in a magazine I did read about whales who do not reproduce when they feel the environmental condition is not pretty satisfactory. I would say that might be the origin of this article.
According Stoicism (a Greece-Rome school of philosophy in the 3rd century, BC.), life has two bases: Harmony and Balance. In my view, interacting with the ambient, human being totally lost these two pillars after Renaissance.
To raise up the quality of life, 21st century people have to look closely to the nature of human and the nature of universe, has to learn more and more about art of living together while achieving advance technology. “Art of living together” is another concept that Plato recounts. We need to look at the history, reading again ancient philosophical concepts and revising the horrible destiny that have designed for ourselves and again, a radical plan to reduce the globe population will be essential. I name this revolution as “Antique Future” and the leading actor has to be post-modern Androgyne who is looking at us in the painting.
Next generations have to select Mythologic Greek Androgynous Life Style who simply lives in harmony with nature, who searches beauty, happiness and meaning of life through innovation and creation - across Art, Literature, Philosophy and Science - who looks at life as a whole system, who knows art of living together, who is not a local thinker and narrow minded. The post-modern Androgyne who may have any type of gender, will be capable to pay attention to sustainable development while is in progress towards advance technology.
This concept is connected with Carl Jung‘s opinion about Anima and Animus: a man (in his middle age of life) has to show natural feminine attributes (anima) like tenderness and sensitivity and vice versa, a woman has to have animus to get balanced; characteristics like rational soul and courage.
Think like an Androgyne, live better and make life better for others!
Author: Leon 47
Thanks to: Matteo Saudino, Nilufar Holder