or Ophelia 2.0 22
When most art lovers hear the word Ophelia, they probably think of one of the most famous Pre-Raphalelite paintings. Ophelia is a painting by British artist Sir John Everett Millais, completed in 1851 and 1852 and in the collection of Tate Britain in London.
Of course, the picture of Millais also played an important role for me. For a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of creating some kind of abstract surrealism and I’ve put together some of my previous work on one-page new surrealism concepts.
The works of the Pre-Raphaelites are not explicitly surreal images, but in my view, there are still some aspects that refer to later surrealism. Anyway, I wanted to approach the subject of Ophelia in my own way. Of course, one can interpret questions about the environmental pollution of our time, but that was not my original intention. Actually, among other things, thoughts on transience and change were the focus of my considerations. Or should the viewer ask themselves questions like: Where is Ophelia? What happened to the beautiful pond?…
All serious futurologists agree that our future will be shaped by AI (artificial intelligence) – to a degree that most cannot even imagine. This will certainly bring improvements in many areas, such as medicine, and I don’t want to go into these areas at all. What interests me, in particular, is painting. A co-blogger who is also an art critic and a notable painter himself recently wrote a very interesting article on this [link].
Staying with Ophelia, if our future reading is increasingly written by computer programs, it of course will change our reading habits. In addition, in times of Tik-Tok, in which many people’s ability to concentrate is in the range of minutes, sophisticated literature by Shakespeare & Co is increasingly becoming a minority reading. And with that, Ophelia as we know her is increasingly disappearing from our cultural pool. Or, like Goethe’s sorcerer’s apprentice, she will become Disneyized.
When I painted the picture I didn’t have the original in mind – actually I haven’t seen it for very many years. I was then surprised at how similar my version to the top part of the original Ophelia is in terms of composition.
After the article about me in the Guangming Daily
Yesterday I received an email and I really was very happy about it! My Chinese fellow student Little Yang from the early days of my first stay in Beijing (Foreign Language Institute 1978-79) read the newspaper article mentioned in the Guangming Daily and remembered me. He attached an old photo of the two of us (my side of the room then). He’s also coming to Vienna soon so we can chat about the old days. This is one of the remarkable sides of the internet.
At the time, I was lucky to be the only Western student to have a Chinese roommate. This worked extremely well because Little Yang was an extremely smart and nice fellow and I don’t recall there ever having been any disagreements between us. He also emailed me a photo of a painting I gave him as a minor memento that he obviously hasn’t thrown away yet.
In the meantime, I know that he had a steep career in the USA – not surprising.