I've been working on this for a few months, on and off.
All in all, painting this turned out to be quite a spiritual journey, a lot has happened this winter.
It all began with this, a gorgeous book on the art of perfumes between 12th century-1970's.
To me it is a book about magic potions, seduction, poisons, jewels, princesses and mystic scents in the night. Even though perfumes were in the beginning used in Paris for just masking the odour of vermins, no plumming and horses**t on the streets =) Anyhoo, I was inspired like a child.
My personal favourite has been this old Dali design. I used to be a huge fan of his until I discovered he was an asshole when it came to animals, but still I have respect for his mind when it comes to making art, fueling your unconscious.
I continued to think about Dali's perfume bottles and jewellery. This golden heart(by Dali) contains a smaller heart made of real rubies, which moves, actually pulses like a real heart, really cool. I took this picture in 2009 in Figueres, near Barcelona, Spain, where the Dali museums are.
Btw the most amazing museums in the world.
The way coolest thing there is a moving round hologram of Alice Cooper, by Dali of course.
After letting my mind wander, I saw in my mind a cool poster for a perfume.
I concentrated on the scent, something dark & mysterious, yet elegant and light.
My final sketch for my final idea, made after doodling some perfume bottles and other crap.
Perfumes have been used for religious purposes, in embalming, rituals etc. Religion is tied to perfumes.
The queen in my first sketch turned in my head into a modern madonna, a free woman with an open heart (the dali heart probably lead me here).
One of the dozen reference photos I took for the shadows on her face.
And today, after listening to Beyonce's run the world, i realized I robbed her visual elements from the video, without realizing... I really loved the video when it first came out; the horse, the crown, the clothes, the way she holds her hand over her belly in the end, like holding something precious...
and that is why in the end I named the triptych 'Run the world', it fits.
I have a religious upbringing and I am nowadays quite anti-religion(religion and spirituality seldom are the same thing), although religions are really inspiring, all the cultural spiritual connections, legends, morals, origins in pagan beliefs... I could go on and on and on...
Just when I got this idea for the triptych and just before starting to paint, I got this beautiful Madonna perfume from my mother. How kismet <3
2 songs that sound like my vision for the madonna(and I was listening to while painting her):
The unicorn is my friend, I've had unicorns (toys, jewelry etc) for all my life for some reason. When I grew up I read all about it and was a bit surprised to say the least... The unicorn has legends all over the world, it has also been usen in christian churches to represent jesus, or 'a pure soul'. The purity of the unicorn is controversial, because its horn is also a phallic symbol, as well as a horse in general is often a symbol of sexuality and power. But I like the contrast, that is the whole point of this image.
My unicorn in this triptych has been decorated like a mule, a camel, a working animal.
But he is a slave no more.
The pegasus is my symbol for freedom of creativity. In mythology, he is spiritual power, the muse for poets.
His mane has been braided, tail decorated and someone has tried to tame him, tie his legs.
But the pegasus kicks like a rodeo horse and sets his spirit free.
Together the mythical horses form opposite forces, but two sides of the same world, yin and yang.
Love and hate, freedom and safety, religion and science.
Because today, 21.12.2012 should be the day of the apocalypse, this old favourite is fitting to end this post:
For years I've been dreaming of the day my art would be published in ImagineFX, the greatest magazine in the world on digital fantasy art. I have the magazine all over our apartment lying everywhere to remind me how many great artist are out there doing what I dream of doing.
Especially next to my computer I always have stacks of the magazine among my other inspirational stuff (toys :P), the covers are so colorful they give me energy and hope.
The day is finally here, I'm in there too! :D
Here are both covers (subscribers and shelf versions) for this issue (issue #90, check info here)
I am so happy and thankful, one big dream came true this year!
And I love the fact that from the images I sent they picked my favourite, the punk-bowie, that makes me feel all fuzzy inside, I must be doing something right...