Two of the most recurring themes in my work are: the socio-cultural and historical role of women in society, and “Duality”. For me, every human being has a bright side and a dark side, the latter characteristic being one of my main interests to explore. According to Carl Jung, every conscious human being carries a “Shadow” that consists of everything of which a person is not fully conscious. The “Shadow” is described as instinctive, irrational, and as the seat of creativity.
Eve, the first woman on earth according to the scriptures and traditions of the Judeo-Christian religions, is one the most iconic figures represented in art.
I chose Eve as the main character for this painting as she was the first woman to listen to her “shadow”. She disobeyed the rules her creator had given to her and Adam. She was the first to experiment with her atavistic side. Eve committed an act of creativity, curiosity, and disobedience; provocative attributes which are said to have caused the fall of man. Eve, the “mother of all living”, is the tainted original mother from which sin was born.
I also included in my painting the character of Lilith from Jewish mythology. In my interpretation she represents the dark side of Eve, her shadow. According to Midrashic literature, Adam’s first wife was not Eve but a woman named Lilith who was created in the first genesis account. Only when Lilith rebelled and abandoned Adam did God create Eve.
Lilith became “evil” when she refused to submit to the normative hierarchical authority of Adam, considering herself an independent equal.
In my painting Eve and Lilith blend into one person and become inextricably intertwined; bright and dark sides together to complete a human being.
Human beings are neither saints nor devils, they are imperfect and yet beautiful and incredible. We come into this world provided with a “starter kit” with the particular characteristics that will mark our lives. We cannot choose what this “starter” kit consists of. We cannot choose our genes, our parents, our physical features, our culture, our religion, and our socio-economic and geographic environment. In this respect all humans can be considered equal. However, as the variables are determined and individuals emerge into existence, the quality of their respective experiences can vary greatly; all paths of life are definitely not equal.
Do we really have the power of “free will”? Is our destiny already written? How much do factors beyond our control construct our lives?
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego CA.