Painting A Fascination
The series of drawings fluidly streamed onto the page. This is because the artistic inspiration stems from what Carl Jung describes as “the undifferentiated chaos of the magical mentality” . However, I strive to understand the processes of creation and the drives behind the images I create.
Like many painters before me, both knowingly and unknowingly, I am influenced and fascinated by the image of the Great Mother. For example, the renowned Abstract Expressionist painter William De Kooning utilized his experiences in Jungian analysis , and drew inspiration from the archetype of the Great Mother . For me, the study followed the fascination. It was a book by Erik Neumann titled, “The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype” that initially enhanced and encouraged my interest in the many-sided image of the feminine.
Professor Camille Paglia praises this book and the Jungian approach to understanding femininity. In her essay, she points out that in other writings, Neumann saw, “The creative man as ‘bisexual,’ even ‘feminine,’ because of his high ‘receptivity’  These are figurative and not biological categories. Artists are like shamans, and travel to the underworld. Mythologically this is associated with feminine figures, like Persephone (in Greek mythology).
According to Jungian theory, the underworld, or unconscious psyche, holds universal patterns. This is why I believe my painting, “In The Shadow of the Mother Complex,” reflects not just personal dynamics, but also a collective meaning.
Separation and Evocation
My insight is that the figure on the top right is The Great Mother. As Neumann outlines, the source of all archetypes is Ouroboric, meaning that it is all-encompassing. It is the womb, the primordial soup. Think of an infant, completely dependent, carried blissfully within the mother.
Psychologically, this initial womb-state holds the potential for the entire plethora of archetypal patterns, including the Mother, Father and lover. That is why the character in my painting is somewhat androgynous.
Otto Rank describes birth as the first shock of separation. Each subsequent developmental stage in some way relates back to that initial and universal theme. My painting can be understood to represent one particular occurrence of this separation. In Carl Jung’s essay on “Four Archetypes,” within the section on the Mother, he says this:
“There is no consciousness without discrimination of opposites. This is the paternal principle, the Logos, which eternally struggles to extricate itself from the primal warmth and darkness of the maternal womb; in a word, from unconsciousness.”
Viewing my painting within this theme, the figure on the left can be seen as a representation of Logos. In accordance to Jung identifying Logos as masculine, my figure is male. Furthermore, he is bald, emphasizing the head — thinking, reasoning, mind. Jung describes the process of intellectual development, free from the ambiguity of the unconscious, as a struggle, which accounts for the man’s downtrodden appearance. The difficulty of this movement towards consciousness and differentiation is also expressed by the long shadow the Great Mother casts on the male figure.
Therefore this painting expresses the perennial theme of separation from the Great Mother. It represents the struggle for mankind to distinguish itself from unconsciousness and develop higher reasoning, rationality and intellectual understanding. As our political and social world falls into upheaval and distressing chaos, this theme is as pertinent as ever.
+ All Hero Archetype Essays:
- A Scrutiny of Othello's Character as a Tragic Hero
- Makings of a Tragic Hero
- Importance of a Hero in Literature
- Helen Keller: A True Hero
- Tragic Hero in William Shakespeare´s Macbeth
- Project Report on Hero Honda
- Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and the Tragic Hero
- Shakespeare's Macbeth as a Tragic Hero
- Can Willy Loman Be Considered A Tragic Hero?
- Marcus Brutus as a Tragic Hero
- Essay on Achilles as the Hero of Homer’s Iliad
- An Analysis of Oedipus and Aristotle's Definition of the Tragic Hero
- Creon, the Tragic Hero
- Role and evolution of the hero in literature
- Oprah Winfrey is a Hero
- Julius Caesar and the Tragic Hero
- Oskar Schindler: A Hero Study
- Characteristics of a Tragic Hero in Oedipus the King by Sophocles
- Is Othello a Tragic Hero?
- Walt Disney the American Hero
- Jocasta as a Tragic Hero
- Female Characters in ,, Hero of Our Timeâ€ by Lermontov
- Beowulf: Epic Hero
- Brutus the Tragic Hero
- Creon: A Tragic Hero in Antigone
- Oedipus, The Tragic Hero
- The Tragic Hero of Oedipus the King
- It Doesn't Take a Cape or Superpowers to Be a Hero
- Jesus: The Tragic Hero
- Oedipus the King: A Tragic Hero
- Beowulf - The Immortal Hero
- Hero Of Animal Farm
- Shakespeare - Tragic Heros
- Archetypes in John Keats' La Belle Dame Sans Merci: A Ballad
- Does the Hero Decline in the Epic of Beowulf?
- The Changing Concept of Hero
- Creon Is a Tragic Hero
- Telemachus: the True Hero of the Odyssey
- Odysseus The Hero
- William Penn American Hero
- Muhammad Ali Is NOT a Hero
- Jay Gatsby: A Tragic Hero
- Macbeth: A Tragic Hero?
- A Western Hero in Shane
- Macbeth as a Tragic Hero
- John Proctor: A Tragic Hero
- The Mirabal Family Hero
- Liam Was Not a Hero, Story Excerpt
- John Proctor: The Epitome of a Tragic Hero
- Chris McCandless is NOT a Hero in the Book, Into the Wild by John Krakauer
- Oedipus: a Tragic Hero
- The Great Hero Odysseus
- The Hero in Camus’s the Stranger (the Outsider)
- Why I Have No Hero
- Achilles in The Illiad is not a Hero
- Othello - The Tragic Hero
- Marcus Brutus: The Tragic Hero in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
- Gilgamesh: A Mythical Hero
- Brutus is the Tragic Hero of Julius Caesar
- My Hero
- Victor Frankenstein: a Tragic Hero
- John Gardner's Grendel as Hero?
- Comparing Religious Archetypes in Moby Dick, Billy Budd, and Bartleby the Scrivener
- Odysseus: A True Modern Hero
- A Shakesperean Tragic Hero - Macbeth
- Ozzie Freedman Portrayed as a Hero
- Creon The Tragic Hero of Sophocles Antigone
- Plight of the Code Hero in the Works of Ernest Hemingway
- The Tragic Hero of Macbeth
- Moses and Campbell's Journey of a Spiritual Hero
- Beowulf is an Epic Hero
- A Code Hero in Hemingway's Books
- Sundiata the Hero
- Galileo Church v. Hero
- Napoleon a Hero
- Uses of Archetype, Foreshadow, and Symbolism in One Hundred Years of Solitude
- Beowulf - The Ideal Hero
- Meursault - The Anti-Hero Protagonist
- The Anti-Hero
- Henry Ford, hero or villain
- David Malouf's Hero in Ransom
- Odysseus in The Odyssey: Hero or Not?
- Fallen Hero: Charles Lindbergh
- Julius Caesar - Tragic Hero
- Odysseus - Far From a Hero
- Hero to Villain in Macbeth by Shakespeare
- Odysseus as a Tragic Hero
- No Such Thing as a Hero in the Novel, Heroes by Robert Cormier
- Romantic Hero