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May 16, 2009
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(Contains: nudity)
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.

~~~EDIT~~~

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.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2009-11-13
Two by *YannickBouchard - is such an outstanding artwork depiction of manís own human nature vs. the sheer beauty of innocence, and the details (especially the anatomy and body curves of the tangled, creeping mass of people reaching upward, too!) are just chilling yet so strangely and stunningly captivating all at once, which is what makes this picture most hauntingly fascinating indeed... what a fantastic job by the artist! ( Suggested by AdigunPolack and Featured by archanN )
:iconinfinitefruit:
This caught my eye immediately, and the completely human nature of it let me know that there is a profound meaning to this.
Indeed, what we consider good and evil is actually the known and the unknown, what we are comfortable with and what frightens us, what we are told to believe and told to disbelieve.
The true "emotions" of these masked individuals could only be expressed through nudity, as there is an absence of facial expressions, and that I agree with. Both adoration and wanting, reaching heavenward, climbing over one another to attain what they had lost long ago: innocence. And yet she stands atop them, as they also support her in every aspect of her life.
Should innocence be pulled down, she only becomes the next stepping stone for the next epitome of purity... if there is another...
A very brutal and subtle piece. The colours certainly serve as a representative of not a burning hell, but a very human, and very alive and insane hell.
I like this. Excellent work. Aeris has been mesmerized. :nod:
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
78 out of 79 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:iconarcturus-90:
Arcturus-90 Featured By Owner Edited Feb 18, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
I like your work in many senses and all the concepts that you describe as part of it.  Years ago, I made a drawing and I felt than was remotely similar in concept, and a little similar visually talking.


The evil in my drawing had a  beautiful white unexpresed mask, (far of the idea evil-ugliness) with human form (far of the idea of beast)  with empty eyes as basins. The clothes were something like an armor, with jewels and two masks like the other on the showlders. He held a sword. From the chest emergered one snake and a human skeleton. 
The evil was on a mountain of people, naked men and women, they were all blindfold. The people near of the top was alive, but who were below were dead and rotten.

Greetings, all my respect to you man! ;)
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015   General Artist
Thanks! Your concept seems very interesting as well!
Reply
:iconarcturus-90:
Arcturus-90 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Not at all!
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015   General Artist
Well it does, the way I imagine it :)
Reply
:iconarcturus-90:
Arcturus-90 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
:)
Reply
:iconbyenia:
byenia Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014
I favorited this picture because I find it so incredibly disturbing.
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014   General Artist
Yeah, I guess it is...
Reply
:iconnovus41:
novus41 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
beautiful work
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014   General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconnovus41:
novus41 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You`re welcome:)
Reply
:iconelessal:
elessal Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Student
i like it. but would be better to put it in a bigger size
Reply
:icontaksido:
Taksido Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012
SUPER !!! great job, that speaks to me :)
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012   General Artist
Thank you! Glad you like it!
Reply
:iconwallbie:
wallbie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
This reminds me of the anime mini-series "Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne", specifically the opening and the final episode. Very good work.
Reply
:icona-teinna:
A-teinna Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Hi dear member of :iconthefavouriteshowcase:

your beautiful piece of art has been Featured in the latest newsarticle of the Devious Edition, nr 1: [link]

Thanks for sharing :wave:
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012   General Artist
Thanks! I appreciate it!
Reply
:iconschwalsberger:
schwalsberger Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Professional Photographer
very impressive
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2011   General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmonipj:
MoniPJ Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2011
I like your point of view
Reply
:iconpalebluebell:
palebluebell Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011
This piece resonates strongly with me - it makes me feel caged and trapped - it's just so very good.
Reply
:iconcreheda:
Creheda Featured By Owner May 15, 2011
your ability to recreate the subtle tone changes in the human body is amazing. I could stare at this all day and feel like I just took a whole life-drawing class. The concept is wonderful and deep. I love this!
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner May 15, 2011   General Artist
Thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate it!
Reply
:iconmartinct:
MartinCT Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011
Very well done. Thoughtful.
Reply
:iconmsdonnad:
msdonnad Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
from where i sit , my initial impresion is that it represents the nature Verses nurture concept , pulling at each other.
Reply
:iconbilliejoe80fan:
BillieJoe80fan Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
Wow. This is amazing!!
Reply
:iconraj0072me:
raj0072me Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2010
whatever it is but its good
Reply
:iconpersondev:
PersonDev Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010
This piece is just insanely incredible. The anatomy, the shading, the concept, the whole thing is just wow.

PS - I'm also glad that more people understand that animals can't really be good or evil; they're just doing what they need to do to survive. I also found what you said about the lion about the "poor" antelope to be very funny, haha.
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010   General Artist
Glad you like it and share my point.
Thanks a lot for your comment!
Reply
:iconaikimoon:
Aikimoon Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010
A magnificent piece with an execellent message that has been wonderfully thought out.
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010   General Artist
Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconjemms2012:
jemms2012 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Merveilleux !
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010   General Artist
Merci! :-)
Reply
:iconjemms2012:
jemms2012 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
De rien ;)
Reply
:iconsashapatrix:
SashaPatrix Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010
I'm surprized you didn't win... the winner's dragons were good, but you made a point about monsters and human evil, the innocent little girl is perfect for the "good" and the full grown adults is perfect for the "evil".

I am really surprized you didn't win...

The judges cirtenly didn't have good eye sight or philosphy to like your work.
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010   General Artist
Ah well, what can I do? I didn't really expect to win the 1rst place, but I thought maybe I'd deserve at least to be in the top 3 or something. But that's all right. I've got lots of positive response for this so it's all good anyway.

Thanks a lot for your comment!
Reply
:iconsashapatrix:
SashaPatrix Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010
Okay your welcome!
Reply
:iconkadaj-souba:
Kadaj-Souba Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is absolutely amazing. I'm afraid I'm not well-versed enough in the art world to say more than that, and I whilst ideas that may not be scientific are explored thoroughly and deeply in my scientifically orientated brain, I tend to lack the ability to synthesize my thoughts into coherent words and sentences worthy of such a piece. Nevertheless this is a topic I have thought long and hard about prior to seeing this piece, and in seeing your piece, have been prompted to retrace old ground again in my thoughts. Seems like my opinions and conclusions haven't changed much in a couple of years.

Reading through comments though - both yours and those of other posters - made me consider your words regarding animals, their actions (which may be "good" or "evil" or neither, or whether that only applies to those with the language capacity to quantify such words) and whether they relate to reward or punishment (i.e. for pet dog example) [clearly I cannot resist the science! :D]. Something fascinating about dolphins is that they seem to have a sense of empathy (though I'm not sure this is the right word) because they have not only shown to defend their own species but ours. On several occassions, they have been reported as saving humans not only from drowning but also putting themselves in harm's way by chasing off rogue sharks, a situation which holds little to no benefit for themselves when they could swim away rather than stay and herd the humans in questions to safety (and with no prior connection, unlike a dog and it's owner upon which it may have a dependence and an emotional bond).

It brings into question how much of this concept of "empathy" they understand or feel, and how deeply they can understand such concepts, and whether concepts such as "good" or "evil" are only perceived by us because we have the capacity for such language. Then again, I find myself thinking about this when looking at your picture and reading your thoughts because strangely enough, dolphins are one of the few animals that have been shown to understand grammar. And also call each other by "name" - they found that a dolphin arriving at a group tends to announce itself with a signature whistle, and then reacts specifically when others emanate it.

OH BOY, I went off on SUCH a tangent it's almost embarrassing. D'OH. *facepalm* Okay. Your picture was incredible and deep, and I am a gigantic nerd. Toodles!
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2010   General Artist
That's really nice of you to share such deep thoughts and ideas! I rarely get the chance to receive elaborated and engaging comments such as yours and it always surprise me when some one takes the time to do so, ao it's really appreciated.

Dolphins are special, aren't they!? xD
They're probably the exception though. Very intelligent animals. And not always so much well treated by us humans.
Reply
:iconfrubban:
Frubban Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010
Did you know?

Dolphins and chimps are the only animals who use names. Also, dolphins have higher brain capacity than humans, but a big part of it is used to navigate in water. 3d navigation is harder than you think...
Reply
:iconfrubban:
Frubban Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2010
I really love this one, but i just wanted to say something about the part where you say "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.".
Many people don't know that chimpanzees, and maybe other apes too, DO consider their own actions, thet they DO introspect the things they do, or will do, that they DO NOT just respond to a need, or an urge, without questionning the morality of it. Chimpanzee have a high level of intelligence, they can even comunicate JUST AS GOOD AS A HUMAN, with hand signs(They won't say "Me apple", but "Can i plaease have an apple?"). They are capable of moral thinking, and they have many times saved humans AND animals from dangers, when they could've just ran away. They have Good, but they also have Evil. They are capable of murderer, and they know what they do, it has even been observed that they can do political murderer, and not the "I wanna leader, i kill" style. Chimpanzees are below humans in terms of intelligense, when it comes to technology, but they don't grow up with it. They have BETTER logical thinking than humans, and they have a language wich is as complicated as ours, and probable has even more nuances that a human would not understand. The reason many people think they are much dumber is simple: They do not have the ability to talk in the same way as humans. On the other hand, we can't talk like they do either, so...yeah.

I just wanted to clear some things up. Sorry if it was a bit long...^^
Anyways, this one really made my think...(And now i don't mean about chimpanzees lol.)
It's going straight to my favourites!!~
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010   General Artist
Ah well, you know. I'm really giving up on this, lol! You're probably right, there is some very intelligent animals out there. And there's still so much we probably can't understand about them. I was saying that more in a general way, and even so maybe some animals do think ahead of their actions and about their consequences, never as much as humans can and do.

You know how humans will sometimes act in a way with the specific intention to hurt somebody else, purely out of spite. Well somehow I can't really imagine an "evil chimp" acting in such a way, hurting or humiliating another one just for the pleasure of it, totally without any reason. Yet maybe I'm wrong about that...
Reply
:iconfrubban:
Frubban Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010
Yeah that's how many people think about it, but some animals are smarter than you think. :]
But yeah, what you said applies to most animals in general, only not on some specific species...

Well this picture was very well-made and made me think deeply about what exactly good and evil is...
Also, it made me write my first "long" rewiew. xD
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010   General Artist
Thanks!

Well glad to be the cause of your first "long review". There sure is a lot to discuss on that subject!
Reply
:iconspamkiller:
Spamkiller Featured By Owner May 21, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm featuring this beautiful piece here: [link] .
If you don't want to be featured, please note me and I'll remove it.
:+fav:
And if you like stamps, you can use this one: [link] :)

Kisses&Hugs
Katia
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:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner May 21, 2010   General Artist
Thanks for the feature! Much appreciated!
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:iconspamkiller:
Spamkiller Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're most welcome. :)
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:iconnine9nine9:
nine9nine9 Featured By Owner May 11, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Featured in my May 11, 2010 Journal -- [link]
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:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner May 12, 2010   General Artist
Thanks for the feature!
Reply
:iconricairbrush:
ricairbrush Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010
Not only the image has talent, the explanation and comments of the artist are quite philosophycal and honest; and yet hilarious the lyon dialogue just made my day of laugh, thanks.
Reply
:iconyannickbouchard:
YannickBouchard Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010   General Artist
Thank you very much,

What'd you mean by "lyon dialogue"? You mean about the antelope? I had completely forgot I had written that! :D
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