Rodrigo Luff is an Australian artist based in Los Angeles. He creates ethereal figurative works of women in […]
Welcome to The Gallerist
Welcome to a place where art, philosophy and mythology come together.
Beautiful Thoughts :
“Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion
or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up
from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,
am not an entity in this world or in the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any
origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.
I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,
first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath breathing human being.”
Martín Riwnyj was born in Buenos Aires and has found the world to be a house with open doors for the inspiration and creation of his works. Spending his time between his native Argentina, Italy, Spain, Peru, Colombia, and Russia, he finds himself frequently visiting museums, galleries, art venues, and remote towns to expand his imagination.
The adventure began more than one hundred years before Socrates’s birth, in the sun-baked commercial town of Miletus on the coast of Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey. In about 585 BCE, a man named Thales amazed his fellow Milesians by correctly predicting an eclipse of the sun.
A few years earlier or later (the record is scanty and unclear), Thales also made a trip to Egypt, where he calculated the height of a pyramid by measuring the length of its shadow at the same time of day that his own shadow equaled his actual height. With these two feats, Thales signaled a major change in Greek thinking and world thinking. A new, rational way of understanding reality was born, as opposed to one tied to myth or religious ritual— as still prevailed in two much older civilizations, Egypt and Babylon.
It was a major shift, and a radical one. Quite suddenly, Greeks of the sixth century BCE lost faith in the ancient legends about the origins of the world told by Homer, Hesiod, and other early poets; about how Uranus had fathered the Titans with Mother Earth and how the Titans fought and lost to Zeus and the other gods for dominance of the world. They no longer seemed believable; they even seemed deliberately misleading. Instead, the question that every Greek sage before Socrates wanted to answer was: “What is real about reality?” More specically, what is the stuff from which everything else in the world is made?
Thales and his fellow pre-Socratics, as they are called, came up with a variety of answers, some more speculative than others. Only fragments of their words have survived. Reconstructing their thought process involves a certain amount of guesswork. But almost all agreed that water, air, fire, and earth were the key constituents of material reality—although which came first, or which held sway over the others,* was a matter of long and intense debate. Thales himself opted for water as the first element from which all things, even the sun and stars, were made (a notion he may have picked up from Egyptian cosmology). Anaximenes proposed air instead. Democritus and Leucippus were willing to take another tack. They insisted that all four elements, and everything else, were actually made up from tiny indivisible particles they called atoms—an astonishing anticipation of the modern atomic theory to come twenty-four centuries later.
Magical, mysterious, and mischievous, fairies never fail to enchant us. But what are they really? Most people consider fairies the products of human imagination—cartoon characters in animated movies or charming creatures in stories we read to children at bedtime—and unless you’re under the age of six, you probably don’t believe they exist.
Or, if you’re into fantasy games, you might think of fairies as personae you can assume in order to engage in mock battles with other pseudo-fairies. But if you delve a little deeper, you’ll discover that all sorts of fanciful folk have populated the fairy world for thousands of years—and they’re as diverse as the animal species who inhabit our planet.
Back in the days when life was much more mysterious and people believed in an enchanted world, mortals feared offending the fairies who might cast spells or inflict curses on a whim. Calling a powerful supernatural being by its real name was considered disrespectful, so humans referred to fairies in euphemistic terms such as the Good People, the Gentry, the Shining Ones, and the Neighbors. The English word “fairy” (or faery) may have come from the Latin fatum, meaning fate, as did the French derivative fée, the Italian fata, and the Spanish fada. Middle English used the term faierie (faeire in Old French) to refer to the land of enchantment and its inhabitants; today we call it Faerie. Of course, each culture not only had its own names for fairies, it also recognized various types of fairies.
Many folklorists believe that fairies descended from ancient gods and goddesses. For thousands of years, these deities had dominion over the earth, the heavens, and all the inhabitants therein. They governed day and night, land and water, the seasons, the growth of plants, wild and domestic animals—just about everything. Their all-encompassing powers made them awesome beings indeed, and people in virtually every culture around the world worshipped some sort of divine ruler(s). But the rise of Christianity coincided with the decline of many early gods and goddesses. The Church not only discouraged belief in the old ways, it persecuted people who clung to them. Legend tells us that when people stopped honoring and paying homage to the old gods and goddesses, their powers began to wane. Consequently, some deities were demoted to mythical beings—including fairies. This development didn’t exactly please the fairies, which might be why they play tricks on humans.
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