The agenda behind Gallerima has always been to sell art that tells a story, but what does that mean for you as a buyer? Why are the stories important and how do you connect with art using your freedom of interpretation? In this post, I’ll take you with me on a trip into four paintings to show you why buying art means investing in your own thoughts, feelings and fantasies. Each presented piece will be told in connection to a concept, song or book to provide examples of how artwork can be translated into a story, revealing what different pictures can exist within a single painting. It’s an amazing thing to learn the language of art and know that whatever work you invest in is a collection of images in itself and never just one single item alone. Let’s begin.
Starting off with this brilliant piece of abstract acrylic art, it clearly embodies simplicity but with a closer look it might convey something more complex. First, observe the white and gold lines forming figures around and next to each other. You see how they stay intimately close to each other but never actually touch? One could say that the fluid lines represent a desire for closeness interfered with careful consideration. One of Sampha’s songs comes to mind, in which he sings: “Close but not quite, almost impossible to do, reciting the makings of you”.
Blue being the colour of stability and wisdom while affection is an expression of uninhibited desire – there’s a very human conflict taking place in this painting. Behind the sharp intellectual lines are softer and intertwined dashes of darker colours – could this symbolize the underlying emotional rebellion of the heart against the focused rationalization of love?
This geometrical drawing depicts a fierce snake in its element laying on a wooden surface. Here, the snake’s symbolism is an angle of inspiration. In the Gilgamesh Epic (a collection of ancient mythological stories from the sumerian region of Mesopotamia), there’s a tale called “Inanna and the Huluppu Tree”. It tells us about a willow tree, the Huluppu, that was planted by the goddess Inanna alongside the Euphrates river. The Huluppu tree, also known as “The Tree of Life”, connected heaven with the earth and underworld. Then the serpent who could not be charmed, made its nest in the roots of the Huluppu tree, the story goes on to say.
Based on this myth, serpents and snakes came to symbolize the root of life among the Sumer people. Snakes were chaotic and uncontrolled like life itself, they were also just as divine. The snake became understood as something which enters earthly portals none of us has ever known while representing continuous renewal because of its regular skin-shedding. Other examples of what snakes signify in Egyptian, Greek and Scandinavian mythology are healing, chaos, cosmic sky and sea, eternity and darkness. When you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that animals in artwork always have a mythological history and symbolism, which contributes even more depth and meaning to already fascinating artwork.
Next is a piece that perfectly represents the infinite possibilities of creation when engaging in the beautiful world of abstract expressionism. Instantly, the dreamy and mystical melody from “My Song” by The Moody Blues comes to mind. This painting magnificently reflects what can be interpreted as a constellation of our inner life – which is a whole universe in itself and an explosion of nuances. It’s as if one is given a visual to the chaotic yet harmonious inner interactions that are constantly happening between our past, present and future selves. Freudians might say the painting resembles a battle between the id, ego and superego of the unconscious mind. The red tones merging into the turquoise palette reminds one of the collaborations between human intensity and softness. There’s no beginning nor end of colour in this painting, just as the many aspects of our personalities are fluid and growing in relation to each other. Isn’t it a powerful piece? If the answer is yes, then surely you recognize that same power in yourself as well.
This painting is a fantastic blend of abstract and figurative art, showing us how beautiful such a collaboration of different art styles can be. Looking away from you is a woman standing in the midst of consistent red brushstrokes disrupted with spontaneous dabs of a soft beige color. Although the name of the painting explains the psychological state that it wants to convey, one can still identify more elements of emotion here, such as loneliness. From there, a connection emerges between the painting and a quote by feminist author Bell Hooks, from the book All About Love: when we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape. So, how does the painting emphasize the difference between being alone and being lonely? Is loneliness characterized precisely by this looking away shown in the painting, as an attempt to escape elsewhere in the background? In opposition, peace and solitude must mean facing things completely.
Spot the blue colour in her dress as it’s often associated with a sorrowful state of mind. Do you remember the last time you dressed like you felt? Because often, we materialize our feelings that way. Maybe next time we end up in a place of inner dwelling similar to hers, we’re reminded by this painting to face the abundant garden in front of us and emotionally undress in it, to hopefully find solitude despite any troubling circumstances.
The Last Dot
The above are just four pieces among a thousand on Gallerima that are all multi-layered with stories, symbols and experiences beyond just mine or the artists’ perspective. So, next time you scroll through an online art gallery to find the right artwork for you, think of it as exploring a world of different experiences you can bring into your space – remember a painting is also a sound, an energy, a collective memory and personal language. If you liked this story, there are many more brilliant ones featured in the Gallerima Magazine that can add to your art-buying journey, ones that help you elevate your descriptive skills as an artist or give you tips on investing in art, plus more. Just dive right in!