The Eye

The symbol of the eye, a reminder that the reality as we see it is not all that exists.

 

Purple Eye, 2013

tar, oil, acrylic

from the Cycle of Life Series

Emerging from the White Capsule Collection

 

'Emerging from the White' is a result of the meeting between Creative Fashion Design and Art and was born from the desire to support innovation and emerging talent and to meld fashion with contemporary artistic practices.

 

In 'Emerging from the White' I worked with Alen Pinkus and Andrea Popovic of the young brand Label2 in MilanTheir designs in neoprene and organza were blank canvases for my art. The resulting structures are images, archetypes and references to symbolic forms that reside in our collection unconscious. To see the full collection and fashion show click here.

Symbolism of the Eye

 

                 The Eye Symbol in the Cycle of Life Painting Series

 

Most of our sensual data comes from the ability to see. The eyes absorb impressions, transmit them to the sight center in the brain which processes the information and translates it to action, feelings, memories, lust and all other human variety of self-expressions and behaviors.

 

Our eyes have limited light wave lengths that they can process so all the ultralight and infrared wave lengths are excluded from the information in take. Also, in the seen span of light there are duplicate waves that are excluded and a difficulty to discern between similar colors and adjacent border patterns. A red rose on a red background won’t be recognized as a rose but the same rose image on a black background would be identified easily.

Because of the dominance of sight in our daily life, reality comprehension is limited from the start. Another fact is that the same reality could be translated totally differently by a Buddhist or Muslim according to their learned cultural patterns.

 

Seeing has much deeper meaning then what was said above. The first time the verb seeing is mentioned in the bible is when God established the first day of creation, the separation between the earth and sky, the first universal order, before everything was entangled together. After the first day of creation there was the first separation, different matters separated so that there was the seed for creating the plants and animals on Thursday and Adam on Friday. After this long day it is written in the Old Testament: vayar Elohim chi tov

Meaning God saw his first day of creation and was satisfied.

 

All the stories in the bible have hidden meaning. There are archetypes of human and human behavior and symbols about human beliefs regarding the creator and the place of human beings on planet Earth and its relation to the universe around us. According to the Old Testament creation story, stars and galaxies were created on the fourth day. If God is a symbol of an almighty power that created our universe it doesn’t have two eyes to see. Seeing in this case might be having an overall sense of what exists, in this kind of seeing there is no limitation of wave lengths or color borders.

 

The first time seeing is mentioned as concerns human beings is in the story of Adam and Eve. After the first human couple ate from the forbidden fruit, it is written in the Bible, in Hebrew: vatipachahna eineihem lirot, meaning their eyes were widely open and they started to see. The first thing they saw was that they were naked. Right after this accident Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden and till this day human beings have to work hard for their living. What Adam and Eve saw was the naked reality. Until then in the Garden of Eden they were protected, everything was there ready for them. Outside the Garden of Eden they confronted reality with no limitations or translations, reality as it is, with a totality of knowledge and information that caused them to cover themselves not only out of shame but of the necessity of protection. Reality was different than what it seemed to be in their previous lives in the Garden of Eden.

 

When Abraham went to Moriya Mountain to sacrifice his only son Isaac, he suddenly saw an angel that stopped him from making this sacrifice.

 

Seeing is mentioned in other ancient religions as well. The Australian aborigines had their sacred rituals during a period they called Dreamtime that could last for a few days or weeks in which they ‘saw’ higher entities that were considered to be the custodians of the native's spirits and acted like the Shamanic guardians of the people.

Native Americans and the Dogon tribes in Africa have the same reference to seeing as the higher connection between human beings and the force that created them. The traditions of these tribes claim that Seeing enables spiritually developed human beings ('Hogon' in the Dogon religion) to see what exists as unity rather than separation. So seeing reality in this aspect is grasping, experiencing and absorbing all that exists at that time. In this experience there are no eyes and objects but a clear notion that the viewer and the object are the same and are part of a larger infinite existence that can be called God, Universe, Creation, Buddha, Elohim or  whatever name in whatever culture would be put on the source of creation energy.

 

The real seeing has nothing to do with the eyes, but still, esoteric priests or shamans needed a symbol to demonstrate the understanding that reality as we see it is very limited and there is a whole world hidden from the eyes. One of the most known symbols is the Horus eye used in Ancient Egyptian temples as the protector of knowledge. According to Egyptian mythology there is much more truth in the worlds from where they came, far across the ‘big lake’ that translated to be another galaxy. In this aspect of grasping knowledge and ‘seeing’ the truth, the process of seeing is done best with closed eyes.

 

The Cycle of Life painting series (COL) was created after I created the Deep Space and Human Formation painting series. It became apparent to me that galaxies, stars, nebulae, embryos, sperms and wombs have a lot in common symbolically and in shape and color. This is the reason why I use, as my inspiration models, the Hubble telescope images of celestial elements and Lennart Nilsson inner body photography.

 

In the COL painting series I tried to manifest the resemblance between celestial elements and human beings as part of a greater reality existence, playing a part in an eternal process of universal evolution.

 

This is the reason I use the symbol of the eye as a reminder that the reality as we see it is not all that exists. We are part of a much greater ‘reality’ and maybe this understanding will lead to a change in priorities on planet Earth. From a higher view all human look the same and all problems and worries seems solvable.

 

Ted Barr

New Jersey, 2014