Good and evil.
I wanted to find a way to symbolize this concept that would go beyond the conventional way of thinking about these two opposites. I wanted to avoid clichés and step away from conventional representation, such as a demon and an angel.
So how to illustrate it then? I started to think about what really was good and evil.
What is evil? It's dark. It's ugly. But evil isn't a monster. Monsters aren't real, they are only part of our imagination. Thoughts of beastssurged into my mind, but beasts aren't good nor evil, they just react with their instinct. So the concept of good and evil can only be human, as any concept for that matter, because animals don't think, only humans do. The concept of good and evil lies in the conscience, the awareness of doing something good or bad.
But one isn't born good or evil. And one is never completely good or evil. The mind isn't all black or white, but can be painted of dark and light shades of gray. I think both concepts exist in everyone of us, and in some people one or the other can be stronger. Yet again, good and evil is relative, it can depend on the point of view.
That's why I came out with the idea of masks. For we don't always see clear, and temptation can be too strong. It comes with regret and shame, or the desire not too be noticed or recognized. Evil has no face, because it is in every one of us to a certain degree. The color of one's skin, the sex or the religion don't determine one being evil or not.
And through all this insanity, stands alone the child, yet unadulterated and unstained by vice. All the others are trying to reach for her, some for help and redemption, and some others to lust and drag her into evil.
Wow! My second Daily Deviation! First I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everybody for all the positive comments and favourites! I can't reply to everyone but I read every comment and really appreciate your opinions and interpretations!
Just a little note about the contest, as many people wished me good luck; the contest was in April or May, and I was amongst the 50 semi-finalist, but I didn't win. But thanks anyway for your support!
Now, a little bit of controversy. Many people objected my original explanation about animals "not thinking". Probably I didn't explain clearly my thoughts about this. I don't want you to think I don't like animals and think they are dumb! I have a dog myself, Rufus, a French Bulldog that I really love! Ok, he's not the smartest dog ever, but I wouldn't say he doesn't have an ounce of intelligence either.
Animals react to their instinct. They can be trained, they can learn tricks and discipline with excercise and practice, and that is a form of intelligence for sure. And I know they can even make use of certain strategies to obtain something they want, which is a sign of cleverness.
When I say animals don't think, I meant they don't consider their own actions, they don't introspect the things they do, or will do. They just respond to a need, or an urge, without questionning the morality of it. I'm sure a lion won't go
"Gee... that poor antelope. He had young kids... what have I done!?"
Animals don't have regrets and remorses. They don't lie or put on masks, only human do. Sometimes we lie to protect someone, not to hurt their feelings -sometimes we lie to protect our own selves. Animals response to their environment, to situations, to stimuli, to the present. They don't think about the past -except a very short-term past, nor do they project themselves into anything else then a very immediate future. I'm not a specialist on animals or whatever, I could be wrong, but that's how I see it. And that's why I say animals aren't evil. Hope that clears a little bit that portion.
Just another thing now- a few people questionned the ethnic uniformity in my painting. I do agree with the idea that there shouldn't be only white people, because you can't judge people being good or bad in regard of the color of their skin. I did it like that simply because there was only two people that posed for my reference pictures -I was the male characters, and my girlfriend was the female characters, and we're both white. So that's it.
The best would have been to use many different models, for more differences in the body types and skin colors, but I didn't have access to that and I was limited by time also because of the contest's deadline. Darker skin tones reflect light differently from light skin, so using a light skin model and turning it into a dark skin character -while doable- could look a little phony, and I didn't want that. And again, I didn't have much time to deal with complications, so I went the easy way instead and made them all white.
On the other hand, putting the concept aside and considering only the form, I kinda like the color uniformity of the body mass.