As a political metaphor, the Trojan Horse is usually perceived as some kind of malignant virus, socialism mixed with radical jihad, anti-poverty advocates and Bernie Saunders groupies and Emma Goldman legacy projects that through subterfuge and guile under the greater good banners seek to enter the “New Jersualem”, America, the shining city on the hill and subvert America’s special status and chosen relation with god. Like Arcimboldo paintings, this results in paradoxical visual tensions, a tug of opposites between integration and separation of the elements that constitute the whole. The metaphor and concepts of incorporation and assimilation are seen in the political dialogue of Rick Perry in which this is achieved through roughshod hegemonic practices, pistol packing metaphors for ethical bankruptcy, the general fever and fear that the wealthy elite will be forced to act responsibly for a greater good and the growing dertitus of American society, the landfill occupants that represent the poverty class and near poverty class who are hearing echoes of the deflationary and depressive 1930’s basically perceived as normalized elements of American apartheid relegated to the back reaches of the social and economic bus. …
The Trojan Horse, that eternal symbol of deceit, was an innocent looking wooden effigy filled with armed and waiting Greeks. When the Milanese painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo addressed himself to this idea, he carried it a step further. Omitting the wood, he composed his horse entirely of the writhing bodies of soldiers. Its eyes are two dark heads, its mane a row of flaming torches. Arcimboldo’s grotesqueries were much admired by the Hapsburgs, who made him court painter at Prague from 1562 to 1587. In the twentieth-century he became much admired by the surrealists, who perceived him as a precursor to their movement.( Horizon )
And, like Dali, Arcimboldo’s state of mind has been called into question on the basis of the gargoyles he came up with, which some find as scary as anything by Hieronymus Bosch. Even art historian Sylvio Leidi speaks of “nightmarish visions” in the catalogue for the current exhibition, and traces his ghoulishness back to early tapestries in which grimacing old men and ape-like faces vie for attention. …Sylvio Leidi thinks these aristocrats loved weirdness so much that Arcimboldo was either obliged to feed their fantasies or having hallucinations of his own — or just expressing a twisted psyche. In “Fire” from “The Four Elements”, she thinks Arcimboldo may be playing at sadism….
…He was celebrated in his own time, but forgotten soon after, and it took Dali to excavate him from deep in the subconscious. Read More:http://dalihouse.blogsome.com/2008/05/28/dalis-great-great-great-grandfather/
Mannerism came after the High Renaissance style of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, which had lasted only about 20 years. The idealism of their style seemed to perish as Europe descended into the wars and devastation that occurred after the Reformation began. Much of life may have seemed surreal, or like a very bad dream. In the same vein, Dadaism and Surrealism resulted from the irrationality of World War I, when a Europe that had supposedly reached a high level of civilization was torn asunder by senseless war. Read More:http://artvent-artventures.blogspot.com/2010/09/arcimboldo-part-iii-surrealist-before.html
So, the politically expedient argument goes that Troy, like America will be taken by stealth and not sword. Essentially, the flavor of the month enemy is that Islam is America’s Trojan Horse. This years model. The subtext being large numbers of Muslims are terrorists- trained from infancy… If anything Arcimboldo showed that their is always a story within a story, a meta-narrative that can be appropriated and twisted into new variants much like his composed portraits.