Giovanni Mannozzi, Night with Dawn and Cupid, 1635
To learn more about Giovanni Mannozzi click
here or on the above image.
Personified Doubles and Complementary Opposites
A few years ago, for fun, I used a book on traditional
symbols found in Classical, Baroque, and Rococo paintings
as a reference to break down the meaning of my paintings.  
Instead of thinking of the intent by which I created my works
of art, I referenced the defined meanings found in the book
that were associated with the paintings the book featured.  I
saw this exercise as a means of discovery and a way to
learn about my art from another perspective.  I was
particularly interested in Giovanni Mannozzi’s work featured
in the book. Giovanni Mannozzi painted female
personifications of Dusk (Night) and Dawn in the work "Night
with Dawn and Cupid," 1635.  Asleep in a semi nude, sexual
embrace as Dawn rests her head between Night’s legs at the
base of her womb; their bodies are positioned to mimic a
spiral.  Their personas are representations of the
phenomenon that is the cosmos, the visual language of the
depiction of their bodies and unification within their embrace
can be interpreted as a symbol of the equinox:  ultimate
harmony, or complete and whole.
Variations similar to Giovanni Mannozzi’s
allegorical representations of female
doubles, or paired, complementary female
opposites, can be found in popular
fashion editorials, too. If one were to take
Mannozzi’s Dusk and Dawn personifi-
cations, separate the figures physically
and juxtapose them within a scene that
descriptively depicts unrest, one could
correctly interpret the splitting and
juxtaposition of the figures to be a
metaphor for discord within the universe.
The metaphor I just described appears
frequently in contemporary fashion
editorials. The bad girl (Vice) in contest with
the good girl (Virtue) is cast in a homoerotic
context. Within these fashion editorials, the
two models are “twinned;” they have similar
facial structures that imply “identical” in
identity. This is contrasted; they are made
“fraternal,” separated by distinctive
characteristics, such as variations in hair
color or skin tone. I perceive these
personas composed in sexual tension and
conflict, as symbolic of one identity that has
been split. Based on my basic observations,
I believe that “persona splitting” is a
powerful fashion editorial tactic. The models
featured function frequently as
iconographic female prototypes.  On one
level, the symbolic function of the “persona
splitting” metaphorically introduces a
division within time and space: splitting
associative fantasy from linear reality. I
believe the “persona splitting” functions on
a deeper, highly personal psychological
level for the reader.
I believe it works in the following manner:
while referencing a realm detached from
reality fashion editorials encourage
consumers to identify oneself with the
featured symbols, models/personas. By the
featuring two models that mirror each other
with complementary variations, the “persona
splitting” editorial psychologically divides the
reader’s identification and concept of self.
This creates a double vision and the
emergence of a visual language based in
dichotomy: good/bad, blonde/brunette,
light/dark, antagonist/protagonist, etc. The
dichotomy divides and halves. This primes
the reader’s psychological response
conquers by allowing the reader to identify
with both to be receptive to products that will
enable self-improvement: keep the good but
correct the bad with the purchase of the
featured products or goods.
I noticed that I, like Giovanni, consistently
used a blonde figure and brunette figure
personas "coupled" together within my
compositions.  Seeing them as one
persona that has been split, or
disharmony, I saw this phenomenon in
my artwork as a deeply personal
mythology.
This page only contains select images
from the series.  View the entire series,
visit my
Flickr page click on the icon
link directly right.
Secluded Play, graphite and ink on paper, 22" x 32", 2012
Vegas Garden, graphite and ink on paper, 36" x 58", 2012
Dusk and Dawn with Horses, graphite, and ink on paper, 18" x 24", 2012
Irreversible, graphite, and ink on paper, 14" x 17", 2012
Paris is Burning, graphite, and ink on paper, 22" x 32", 2012
All of the images on this page are thumbnails, please click on the thumbnails of each work below to view a larger, full screen image.
View the entire process of the series on Flickr
here or on the Flickr icon on this page.
Garden Processional, graphite, and ink on paper, 22" x 32", 2012
Strawberries and Lemonade, color pencil, acrylic,graphite, and ink on paper
46" x 56", 2012
Nicole, graphite, watercolor, and ink on paper, 14" x 17", 2012
Climbing Trees, graphite, and ink on paper, 14" x 17", 2012
The Wind Has Blown the Rain Away and Blown, graphite, watercolor, and ink
on paper, 14" x 17", 2011
Image Study #4, ink on paper, 15" x 17", 2012
Smoking Tiger, graphite, watercolor, and ink on paper, 27" x 28", 2011
A Dream in August, graphite, and ink on paper, 24" x 40", 2011
Women by the Water, graphite, watercolor, and ink on paper,
14" x 17", 2012
Dusk and Dawn Study, graphite, watercolor, and ink on paper,
14" x 17", 2012
All of the images on this page are thumbnails, please click on the thumbnails of each work below to view a larger, full screen  image.
Secluded Play, II, graphite, watercolor, and ink on paper, 30" x 40", 2012.
recent studio work about Ramón y Cajal.
Visit dawnhunterart.blogspot to see the
Creative Biography:
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