Wednesday, March 26, 2008
A Humument pg.179
On page 179 of Tom Phillip’s, A Humument, Phillip suggests that when two lovers come together it’s only a natural way of life to explore one other, body and mind and to succumb to those feelings of passion. Phillip uses circular shapes to represent the biology aspects of these passionate feelings but also his words help move the story together and keep this idea fresh in the viewers mind. The tale he sets up for the viewer is that this is a painting between two lovers, past lovers who come with good and bad feelings towards each other. When these are brought together their story of letting go and growing onto one another is nothing but a way of life and Phillip highly states this.
Phillip starts with the word “gent” at the very top of the page. He uses a man’s point of view through the entire painting which is effective because it’s a mans take on love and also how he reacts to heated feelings. One of the first things noticeable in the painting is the deep red and white circular figures in the middle of the piece. This gives off the idea of sexual feelings because it symbolizes the sperm which is apart of all men. “Her arm on his knee explored,” Phillip uses his words to convey the idea of a sexual nature when lovers reunite, or are just together. The dark red uses in between the off white symbolizes the idea of love and how these actions of passion should be shared only when there is love and nothing else. At the time though the red could symbolize the opposite of that, the red means heat and passion, mostly sin in the eyes of the white, God.
Phillip places this large awkward circle in the middle of the painting with the words, “former lovers” in between. This represents the characters in the artwork. However it also states, “started in horror” which is ironic. Horror would never be used to describe lovers, but then again former lovers do come with pasts. Perhaps Phillips tries to explain this to the audience, for us to understand how the story starts. These lovers are in horror because they should not be feeling this way, this moment of wanting to rekindle all that was once before, but even then we can only hold ourselves back for so long until we just let go. The circle represents a women’s egg, which connects to a man’s sperm in this idea of a sexual nature throughout the entire artwork.
The colors purple and green are hard to understand and connect to the idea that the artwork represents. Since these colors are the background to the painting, perhaps Phillips uses them to symbolize the past relationship shared between the two lovers that are the main focus in the foreground. The idea of green can symbolize envy and jealousy but also growth and life which connects to the lovers because perhaps their past was filled with lots of negativity but now is replaced with the foreground idea of creating life and growing an attachment with one another and share this moment. The color purple requires more intense thought however. Red and blue are used to create purple, so connecting this like green Phillip uses the individual colors to create meaning for the background. The color red represents this idea of love, hence former lovers but also the color blue represents this peacefulness which is shown in the painting. When green, blue, and red come together they clash with one other but come together into a typical relationship shared between two people.
The color white is also highly symbolic to the painting. Brought up towards of the beginning, white was noted to be symbolic towards God. However Phillip expands his beliefs beyond that. Phillip uses white to surround the deep red and the purple circle in the middle of the foreground because all of the lover’s intentions are pure. Perhaps the lovers have finally come to the conclusion that they cannot let past mistakes ruin the moment they are about to share. Though they are in the midst of a sinful encounter they love one other which is nothing but pure and real. Phillip uses white to even out the darker shades throughout the painting, even out the bad with the good.
Overall Phillips point is that love leads to new things, whether it’s plain and pure or heated and sinful, love is just love. New lovers create moments that they will always remember even if they break apart in the end and seen in Phillips pg. 179 former lovers can do the same. Take what they know in the past and learn from it to create a better future. Phillip’s painting can be taken in either as a sexual reference or a reference to growing and becoming more then what one thought beforehand. Phillips is able to create this playing off the ideas of colors, shapes, and the symbols they represent to human beings. In this case the lovers are more then just egg Sand sperm, they are more human then ever which is shown throughout the artwork.