|Botticelli, Birth of Venus|
The Goddess of Love and Desire, sprouting from a shell…or from sea foam…(depending on which artist you ask) fully formed, is also the Goddess of Peace, softening the swagger and violence of her male counterpart, Mars, the God of War.
|Peter Paul Rubens, Prometheus on the Rocks|
Interpreting the Mythology (as all artists have throughout art history)…I saw Venus as more a Prometheus character. Prometheus is the Demi-God who brings fire from the Gods to the mortals of the earth and is punished for it by being strapped to a rock to have the vultures eat his liver for all of eternity…the Rubens’ painting in the MET makes this horrifically graphic.
For my painting, I interpreted Venus as a symbol of the African American Woman. Her gift of fire; whether its tending the home with the cooking fire, the fire in her heart to achieve, the fire to love, the fire to create, the fire to fight for justice and the fire to bring forth new life and to nurture it…is historically unrecognized, unappreciated, diminished and often destroyed.
Venus as Prometheus.
And, her flame is burning brightly as she peacefully presents it to the world…again.
Mark your Calendars for the May 24th opening reception.