The painting depicts a hermaphrodite mother with her newborn child, who’s crying. The painting draws together a lot of motifs... Read More
The painting depicts a hermaphrodite mother with her newborn child, who’s crying. The painting draws together a lot of motifs that widely feature and are broached in art, history and philosophy. These comprise hermaphroditism, maternity, embrace, the breast, the penis, the male and female nude, eros, crying, and the opening up of the body and the soul.
Maternity, being one of the most enigmatic and profound of human experiences, triggers intense changes and responses from the body and the soul, opening them up physically and metaphorically, both inside and out. Maternity is about opening your body to a child, opening your hands to welcome them, opening your breast to feed, opening your face and eyes to look this new life in the eyes.
Indeed, the body of the hermaphrodite mother in the painting is visibly and provocatively open. In our Mommy painting maternity is represented as desire, as an individual choice that is always humanly possible even in its least traditional forms, and not as anatomical fate which the woman, and only the woman, succumbs to, in an inescapable role that renews from one generation to the next. Any one of us can become a mother, and this work would go on to contribute to the opening up and broadening of the concept of maternity in European society and culture today. Science and law make it possible to have a child without sexual procreation. The concept of maternity being triggered by a bond of love is also excluded because maternity can just as easily be brought about byautonomous choice.
The child crying in the arms of its mother symbolises a conservative human society reacting with resistance, denial and pain to its new forms, unconventional relationships and alternative thought.
The world is now on the threshold of an unprecedented opening up of the concept
of maternity and family. The Mommy painting is a metaphor not only for the opening up of the body and soul of the mother, but the opening up of the concept of maternity today as well. The hermaphrodite can be seen as an autonomous figure representing sexual minorities, but it can also be seen as a portrayal of both sexes – male and female, in their harmonious union.
This piece symbolises the equality of everyone who desires maternity and has
the option of experiencing it, now that this is possible regardless of gender, sexual preference, race or age.
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