Life itself is the simplest, yet most complex of all things. Within the context of the Universe, life appears to be the tiniest building block of Creation. The infinity of everything is possible like the Cosmos depends on the invisible atom for its very existence. The appearance of life in the Universe is probably best likened to the emergence of consciousness in humans: it helps identify, describe and name the surrounding unknown.
But irrespective of our continuous efforts to explain things and ascribe them to categories, there is always something which remains shrouded in mystery and escapes all explanations, very much like the modern story of DNA-decoding: we got to know a lot about it, but not everything and the missing fraction of knowledge evading our reasoning holds the key to the ultimate mystery. Following an on-going cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, life carries on endlessly and people are but one form of life caught up in the perpetual movement.
Within the big scheme of things, people are transient carriers of life and everything it encompasses. On their journey they get to experience different things as a result of their own choices.
Just like familiarity breeds contempt, proximity to things and situations once thought of as desirable leads to losing their charm, as people find that taking ownership of things usually comes with the burden of man-made or self-imposed rules, which cut them off from life. Social or professional status, aesthetic rules, ignorance are but a few of those hindrances. Willingly or not, people find themselves playing the game which unavoidably comes with winners and losers, and while the winners take it all, the losers are left behind, abandoned and soon forgotten about.
Yet, when you zoom out and look at the big picture, that is exactly what happens to life as we know it within the context of the Universe: so far, science has looked up and low, far and wide, but has failed to discover life-forms similar to us. We obviously serve a purpose since we have been allowed to exist, but it is equally obvious we have been designed with a self-limiting ability to reach out. Whether this is to protect ourselves from others or to protect others from us, is still under debate.
Although the above-mentioned idea will be put into question by many, I have to confess that to me, it came as an epiphany under rather grim circumstances: a prison cell with damp walls which became my compulsory dwelling for many years. This is how I got to know four interesting characters whom I previously knew of, but not have been familiar with until then.
Until then, life had been kind to me, as I had somehow managed to avoid crossing paths with any one of the “terrible four”. Even to this day, I can’t help identifying my experience of Loneliness, Abuse, Guilt, and Abandonment as fundamental encounters which shaped my view on life forever after. To me, they felt like real beings, each with a will and a mind of their own.
Loneliness sharpened my senses and enabled me to perceive parallel worlds and realities which I had no idea existed. Guilt kept me on my toes as I ruffled through old memories and long gone times, incessantly wondering where I had gone wrong and why life had singled me out and punished me that way...
Looking back, I recognize a distinct sense of irony in my bitter revolt against oppressive rules I found myself subjected to: in a way, it was like having a taste of your own medicine. Up until then, I would happily condone all those practices as a member of the society which adopted those rules in the first place, without even giving a second thought to what it felt being at the receiving end. Yet, when the indignity subsided, humility took its place, granting me with the sense of redemption associated with major life-changing experiences. I knew then and there that I had shed one of my false masks for good in favor of finding out a bit more of who I really was…
Last, but not least: the experience of Abandonment took things to a completely new level for me: Although young and full of life, always on the watch-out for the next adventure, I had to admit defeat, at least for a while, when confronted with life restrained and with the reality that everybody else out there had pretty much given up on me, either because there was nothing they could do, or they simply couldn’t care less!Under those circumstances, I came within inches from giving up on myself on quite a few occasions, and the present artistic representation strives to express exactly that:
Still, the message is far from being a defeatist one, as this abstract painting puts out the most blatant protest against abandonment as punishment.