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stephen linsteadt

Infrathin l Stephen Linsteadt

Infrathin, oil on canvas, 193 x 203 cm, 2021

The child dancing appears in my work as a representation of our soul. She is the Unknown Woman, whom, like Sophia, calls us to unite and merge with her. The journey to Self-discovery is found in the symbolism of the alchemical Royal Wedding-the conjunction or union of opposites-the mystical marriage. Hence, the bridal dress over a mannequin with four adjacent groom tuxedos to stress the opposing forces and unfulfilled material desires that stand in the way of the spiritual consummation. The scattered garment fragments allude to individual self-destruction in a world of forms versus 'Forms' as transcendent and the essential basis of reality. Between the material and the transcendent is Duchamp's Illuminating Gas, the Divine activity, like Eros. It is the gap between our uncertainty and what we experience as reality. It is the cloud of Magritte and Smilde, ever challenging our perception. The ambiguous dress in the foreground is infrathin as though a woman has just taken it off and it is still warm with a lingering scent. Perhaps the woman is now outside of the painting as the observer. There are two dolphins, they are the gatekeepers like the Sphinx's riddle of two sisters.


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