soul portrait: mirror of the moon

Is there a moon in the soul, slivery shivers of light acting as an electro-magnetic field absorbing and expanding sensorial perceptions, like a flashlight vaguely illuminating a dark and unknown attic of our mind….

---Surprisingly, Girodet's earlier history paintings do little to prepare us for either the inventiveness of Endymion, or the ingeniousness of the poetic conceit that is the primary source of the picture's striking originality. Instead of appearing at her beloved's side wearing a human aspect, Girodet's Diana/Luna manifests herself as a pale, silvery moonbeam that enters the bucolic scene through branches carefully parted by an obliging Cupid, and tenderly caresses the graceful form and soft flesh of the sleeping Endymion. Correggio's Jupiter and Io comes to mind, where Zeus, having metamorphosed into a cloud, descends to make love to the ecstatic nymph Io. The two paintings share a related search for the most extreme refinement of erotic sensuality.--- Read More:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat
up smoking in the supernatural darkness of
cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities
contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and
saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tene-
ment roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes
hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy
among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy &
publishing obscene odes on the windows of the
skull, … ( Ginsberg, Howl )

A light gathering momentum. The lunatic light feeding on the body. Liberating the body. The silvery alchemic process of purification. Every moon has its dark side, the positing of deism, the animation of the spirit world and a dialog with silence listening to the quiet, pulsing memory inexorably trying to shatter the sense of control. Dissolving forms, delirious forms. dances between death and life, mortality and eternity. rapture. ecstasy. Elation with the phantom, the ephemeral. A tentative leap from the cold reality of reason…

Correggio. Jupiter and Io.--Correggio who painted the the end of the High Renaissance was a master of of all moods and paint textures. this painting is from a series depicting the Loves of Jupiter. It shows the mortal nymph Io willingly accepting the embrace of Jupiter, who has appeared to her as a looming black - gray cloud. Jupiter took this form in hope of evading the detection of his wife while he is chasing after the nearest female quarry. The naked young woman straddles, cuddles, and squeezes the cloud, her head thrown back with the most satisfied look of orgasmic pleasure ever produced in the fine arts. --- Read More:

Kuspit: I am suggesting that Endymion is a soul-portrait of Girodet under the spell of the moon. Endymion is totally self-absorbed, a narcissist waiting to be reflected in the eyes of the admiring public, like Girodet. I am suggesting that the peculiar unintelligibility of Girodet’s painting — thus the incomprehension of the press, which was accustomed to the classical intelligibility of David’s paintings — has as much to do with the moonlight that informs the scene as with its novel rendering of Cupid…. he carries an empty quiver on his back, and has been “transformed. . . into Zephyr, the springtime wind of aerial lightness,” by reason of the “blue and green wings” he “sports,” which are “narrow and velvety like those of a moth.” The aura cast by the moonlight evokes the aura that announces the onset of an attack of madness, hopefully creative madness.

Regnault. The Genius of France. 1795. Read More:

So, it comes back to the theory that every painter reproduces himself. The principle of great art since at least the Caves at Lascaux; a good metaphor of the cave being art as a depiction of the inner world, an allegory of the artist’s own mind and the apparent impossibility of stepping out of one’s own mind. Endymion is similar to other portraits Girodet did such as Citizen Belley, and Chateaubriand, which show the same languid posture, a reflective visual language underpinned by an erotic unpredictability, the animalistic, ready to pounce and the interchangeability between the passive and the active, the masculine and feminine mixed with a dream world bordering on the melancholic dark world that only the moonlight can touch.

…To be romantic is to be mad, to liberate oneself from social and self-control, and to be classical means to be sane, that is, to accept inner and outer control, or at least have them as ideals. Classicism, which asserted the power and rights of the ego, became super-egoistic in neo-classicism — academicized classicism. As many scholars point out, however romantically mad they are, Girodet’s most famous paintings never entirely lose their grip on classical sanity, however much they lose their academic character. Thus, the romantic element of infinitizing light is the crucial aspect of The Sleep of Endymion, but the classical iconography is also important. The bodies of Endymion and Cupid are also classical in import — classically proportioned and clearly ideal. The work is a romantic vision but it has a classical underpinning, formally as well as iconographically. This is true of virtually all of Girodet’s “romantic” pictures, … And genius — he was a much more authentic, insightful genius than David, who was overly dependent on classicism and thus less trusting of emotional life, which he conveyed inadequately, certainly in comparison to Girodet.Read More:

Just give it to `em
Never think about it
Force fed
On half dead melodies
Dragged up from the archives
Playing on your sympathies
I’m being brain-washed
And don’t know how to block it
`Cos something in the chorus
Burns a hole in my pocket
And I can’t feel the pain
When my finger’s in the socket
And only the numb survive
Only the numb survive
Only the numb survive
Business is business
Business is business
Business is business
Everyone was doing it
You weren’t at the party last night
M.O.R. is good
M.O.R. is safe
M.O.R. is you
M.O.R. is here
Relax, Relax
Relax, Relax
Relax, Relax
Relax, Relax
Maybe you can think of a way
To turn me on… ( Godley and Creme )

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