Circe perdue and Galatea, too
Did I try to put to much stuff in this drawing at the expense of clarity and unity? Perhaps but I’ve spent too much time on it to just give it up. I have been teaching two classes and have not had time to post. It has been over a month so I had better get this one up, regardless.
Does the making of it into triptychs ex post facto help to clarify it? Hope so.
Starting with the center panels: they are about booze and how our hero, as a folly of lost times, thought that it made him socially acceptable; when it actually only made him think it so. He was among the last to realize that, that was all it was doing; that, in fact, it was doing quite the opposite. He was never more than a circus-like act to them, ever.
We don’t see him in the bottom center panel. Did he fall? Did he retreat? Or did he make it to their side but only to be standing out of the frame; observing not participating?
In the Left panels are strange chimera, dogs and pigs, men and women; not as sex-stereotype slurs, but as Circean projects. As they are amusing companions and sources of food for each other — dog-eat-dog and variations – they are also that for a ‘higher power.’ Which is not a god but an incorporation; not a faith but a society.
And on the right; art, art of art, and art of art of art. Back in the day (the top panels), our hero paints his not-yet-found ideal as a manic Pygmalion. And below he paints a painting of his painting. His not-ever-to-be-found ideal is not just the woman, but the making of art. He is now a depressed Pygmalion.