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stephen linsteadt

Ariadne l Stephen Linsteadt

Ariadne (after Pontormo and Brueghel), oil on canvas, 152 x 124 cm, 2021

Baubo was an old woman in Greek mythology. She was sexually liberated and could be obscene in her effort to relieve emotional tension in others. Obscenity in mythology is sometimes the shock we need to shake us out of our preoccupation with our problems or grief. When obscenity is common, as it has become in our society, it is no longer shocking. And the question arises if it is still obscene. I see the feminine as representing our higher Self. She is the manifestation of the Divine. When the feminine in society becomes sexually liberated it is a sign that humanity is moving in the right direction. The central figure is Ariadne, the one who holds the red string that leads human beings out of the labyrinth of spacetime. Her red cape is a symbol of her connection with Dionysus, who is the god of wine (spiritual elixir). There are several alchemical images included in the various animals depicted found in the paintings of Pontormo and Brueghel. Ultimately, the painting is about transcendence.


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