Thursday, March 4, 2010

As promised...

24” x 36”
Acrylic on wood.
View detail here

This is a reinterpretation of Medusa, who is not so much a monster but a goddess here, with the idea being that she is empowered by her shadow side, instead of dominated by it. Thought I’d share my thought process here:

I used a lot of tarot symbolism, as some of you know I’ve been really into it for the past 8 months or so :) Medusa herself is the High Priestess, holding Persephone’s pomegranate, wearing a cresecent-antlered crown, and flanked by two pillars. Wisdom is all around as well.

-3 swords pierce her heart

-Judgement is in full effect in the lava scene in her hair. I used statues to represent Medusa’s ability to turn people into stone. Her wrath is a multi-headed Mount Vesuvius, complete with writhing snakes, and fleeing statues.

-The four book-wielding figures on the Wheel of Fortune card can be found in each corner of the piece, translated into Egyptian and sculptural iconographic beasts.

-The hermit illuminates the nude, who represents Medusa prior to the snake-headed curse.

-The bound woman of the 8 of swords is guided by Death and his scythe.

-I didn’t want to show her beheading, as all the famous portraits do, so the vein-like coral springing from the heart allude to it, making it monstrous and beautiful at the same time, I hope :) Drops of her blood were said to have created the coral reefs, as Perseus carried her head over the seas of the world.

-Pegasus, who sprang from her beheaded body, is guided by bats, owls, and a ba (human-headed falcon).

-Cerberus, the 3-headed hell-hound, and Poseidon

-and three Perseus figures-- the purple one, is the invisible Perseus, defeated and running from his shadow; a miniature pondering Perseus sits atop a giant stone head; and a surrendering Perseus kneels in front of the pomegranate, removing his invisibility helmet. Either way, Medusa is victorious. I think she would have been, if she had embraced her monstrosity, merging darkness with light.

“Wish Upon a Star”
16” x 20”
Acrylic on wood.
View detail here

Based on the story of Pinocchio, but really the 1940 film :) Here’s my thought-process:

-The blue fairy and Gepetto, the clockmaker, are surrounded by magical spirits, music, and clocks.
-A miniature tree of knowledge grows out of the fairy’s right hand, and she holds time (the only clock that has struck midnight) in the other.
-All the other clocks around her each mark a different hour; there are 12 in total.

-The circus tents and carousel of Pleasure Island rise out of the fog, and to reach them, Pinocchio must get past Monstro the narwhal and confront the larger-than-life fairy.
-Pinocchio has been swept ashore in his miserable bottom left-hand corner, still holding the ace of spades (the death card) that serves as his ticket to Pleasure Island.
-bats and owls with donkey-heads tormenting him
-booze, billiard balls, and books among the wreckage
-Jiminy Cricket whispering words of encouragement
-Figaro and the goldfish, looking in on Gepetto’s shipwreck
-the fool swept along by the tide
-a forlorn deep-sea diver
-melting clock (a miniature Dali-homage) marking Pinocchio’s betrayal of his father the clockmaker.
-an elephant which “can signify the emergence of one’s Highest True Self” when it appears in dreams.

These two pieces, along with the Four Seasons (which the owner is graciously allowing LA viewers to see in person) will be a part of...

Hi-Fructose 5th Anniversary Group Exhibition
Copro Gallery in Los Angeles.
Opening Reception: Saturday March 13, 8:00 – 11:30 p.m.
Exhibit runs from March 13 – April 3, 2010
for sales please contact:


zoe said...

wow, mia! i've really been missing your work, but this was totally worth the wait!
i really like the way medusa's wounded heart leads directly to the flames and snakes which overtake her gorgeous hair and become an uncontrollably explosive violence (volcano). beautiful rendition...she's gorgeous.

wish upon a star is so beautiful!! great work!

Tom said...

Amazing poetry to your pieces as usual. Thanks for sharing!!! I'm so glad I'll be able to see the Four Seasons piece in person =)

Sunny said...

^0^ so happy to see your new pieces~!

Very delicate and beautiful, as always~:)

好朋友 said...


Heidi Alamanda said...

Those paintings already impressed me when I saw them on your facebook. The thought process behind them made me even more impressed of the attention of detail you put there.
Great work, Mia...gorgeous gorgeous

rachael said...

thanks for sharing your inspirations...i've been reading tarot for the past 25 years (wow that makes me feel old)...we are all the fool on a journey through the major arcana...this is personified so well in your lovely works! truly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

我來湊熱鬧的~~^^ 要平安快樂哦.........................

Mia said...

Thanks everybody for your nice comments :)

Rachael: That's amazing that you've been reading tarot for 25 years! Do you listen to the Tarot Connection podcast? It's really fantastic and even though I have a lot to learn, I've learned so much from Leisa and the people she interviews. And I am thrilled to hear that you think I personify the journey with my work :)