Crystal Clear

$999,999.00 / Sold Out

"Crystal Clear" - acrylic paint, graphite and charcoal layered with acrylic spray and clear gesso on canvas: floated in a custom made "tray" style maple wood frame. The total dimensions are 64" x 88" x 5".

"Crystal Clear" is a visual allegory about different ways of viewing life and the world around us. Two young ladies, through their actions and body language, communicate very different outlooks on life. My two daughters served as the models.

The girl on the left is the dreamer. Oblivious to all that is going on around her, she sees only what she wants to see in the crystal ball. She rests her hand on it as if she might actually be able to touch it. She is captivated by the wonder of life and all the possibilities, always hopeful and mostly confident that everything will be okay. The image in the crystal ball is of the castle Falkenstein, designed by Christian Jank in 1883. The drawing was commissioned by “Mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria, famous for spending the wealth of his country on a series of grandiose castles. His most well known castle is Schloss Neuschwanstein, which was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella’s castle. The king died in 1886 under mysterious circumstances and Falkenstein was never built.

The girl on the right is the pragmatist. She evaluates the world around her and doesn’t engage in wishful thinking. She is practical and focused on setting and reaching her goals. Standing on the tips of her toes, she looks toward the horizon. She puts her hand on her forehead in an attempt to see her goals more clearly as she contemplates how she will go about getting there. The fact that she sees nothing but distant hills is a bit daunting, but she knows that’s just life. We all have to work toward our goals without guarantees and often without a clear vision of the future.

This painting is not intended to make a judgment on two different ways of approaching life. King Ludwig II created (arguably) some of the most beautiful architecture in the world, while causing his financial advisors endless headaches. Conversely, if you spend too much time working toward the future, you may miss out on some interesting side roads. Just as with the popular designations of “right brain” and “left brain,” both approaches have positive and negative aspects. Ideally, I think it’s best to aim to be a “pragmatic dreamer.”

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