Trickster I by impactisland
This latest painting is the first of a series of three using the “Trickster” as a metaphor. The “Trickster” appears in one form or another in just about every culture on earth. Native American people believe that he manifests himself from the spirit world in the shape of a coyote, sometimes a spider (depending on tribe) – Northern Plains tribes call him Iktomi. Christian beliefs may call him Satan and the Far Eastern religions refer to him as Yin-Yang. Now he isn’t always a person or thing – I refer to the “Trickster” as “him” only in the reference as – nothing better to call it. The “it” actually is a metaphor for choices. The yin-yang, positive and/or negative forces that are present in all decisions we make. In the case of the painting, that’s why he is dressed in black and white. He is depicted as a court jester from the Medieval Europe time period – some people referred to him as “The Joker” from a deck of cards or “The Fool” from the Tarot deck. Actually he is all of them. The Medieval Court Jester’s, besides being entertainers, were in many cases, master manipulators. Through song and humor they could cast doubt and suspicion on behind the scene situations that the court they were in was experiencing. Basically they could get away with poking fun (to a point) at their employer while manipulating “back room deals” or current event situations to their advantage. The idea of him stepping and missing the floating island came from the Tarot depiction of the Fool card. One of the decks he is shown gleefully walking and about to step over a cliff. In this painting I put him confidently stepping on the floating islands and about to miss the next step and fall into the void, but he doesn’t care because he has a plan or a way out where he’ll survive the fall. He’s sort of “The Pied Piper”, he’ll lead and we’ll follow him anywhere (that’s why he has the flute). Which brings us to the woman figure. She is depicted as being slightly embarrassed – turning away from the viewer and holding a red fabric or blanket over her naked body while the rose she holds is wilting and its petals are falling off. She appears to have experienced a “one night stand” that she put more stock in than her lover. Embarrassed by being sucked into a situation and being fooled she holds the red blanket over her (red was chosen because of the old Puritan days of the scarlet letter – which labeled women as whores who had sex outside of marriage). She holds a wilting rose that symbolizes the love that wasn’t there that she thought was. This metaphor has more to do with making a choice that has a down side to it and not really considering or being aware of that downside kind of leaves us stuck out on a cliffs edge alone and naked. The final element of this painting is the Snow Leopard. I couldn’t find many references to what leopards in general symbolize. What I could find out was that they are solitary creatures and they are associated with stealth. He was in the vision I first saw when I thought of this piece so I’m not sure why he’s there. He certainly isn’t a protector. Leopards are not family orientated – the males don’t hang around after breeding and have been know to return and kill their young. The mothers will watch over their young for a year or two and then leave them to fend for themselves once they begin to hunt on their own. Sometimes offspring will stay together for awhile until they get used to hunting by themselves and then drift apart. I’m going to leave it at that and let you the viewer decide what is the purpose of the leopard? Let me know if you figure it out. Thanks for your time and I hope this statement helps you understand or react/contemplate this image. Watch for the other two images that are being produced now.
Original Painting: 30" X 40", $1,200.00
Prints Available: 13" X 17", $35.00
Original painting and prints available at: