Thursday, March 7, 2013

Janus Red, red pepper oil painting, by Kim Blair

Janus Red
11x14 oil on canvas

Ancient Greek theater is the birth place of theater masks.  Light weight creations of painted wood or leather the exaggerated facial expressions allowed audience members in the back row to see what emotion was being dramatized on stage at the local amphitheater .   Besides projecting the actors voice the mask allowed him to portray various roles regardless of age or gender.

The Romans (who borrowed many great ideas from the ancient Greeks) incorporated the use of masks in their theater productions and today we associate the two headed comedy and tragedy mask with the two headed Roman God, Janus.  Janus with his two faces representing doorways/ gateways had the handy ability to look both forward and backwards simultaneously.

Janus morphed into January, the first month of the calendar which we associate with new beginnings, while at the same time allowing us to reflect or 'look back' at the previous year to contemplate both the happy and sad moments.

The comedy and tragedy 'Janus Masks' are the universal symbols for modern theater and the duality of life.  Shakespeare had it right when he said that all the world's a stage and the men and women merely players.

Exaggerated expressions are sometimes necessary... 

11x14 inches oil on canvas (needs some drying time)


Sue Marrazzo said...

KIM...So NICE to view...It's really a GREAT post, too!!!!!

Randall Cogburn said...

Thats some deep red bell pepper, Nice Kim.


k. Madison Moore Contemporary Fine Artist said...

Beautiful work :)