House of the Gorgon

“House of the Gorgon”
Pen and Ink on Watercolor Paper
18″ x 24″

This piece is a rendition of the mythological character, Medusa of the Gorgon. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, the Gorgons were the sisters of the Graiai and lived in the utmost place towards the night by the Hesperides beyond Oceanus. The center of the presentation finds the main character of Medusa supporting herself on two pillars comprised of men turned to stone. Would be heroes and murderers frozen for eternity in the halls of the Gorgon merely from catching her gaze. Her hair of snakes envelop a nude woman that symbolizes Medusa’s likeness before she was transformed into the hideous creature commonly associated with her. According to Ovid, this is a result of a punishment from Athena for the “crime” of being raped by Poseidon on the floor of an Athenian temple. This origin tale is represented in the frescoes at the top of the walls behind Medusa. This story always fascinated me, the blatant and obviously immoral “lesson” of this tale reminded me of the hypocritical nature of nearly all the stories from the old testament. The truth is, Medusa is a tragic figure, a victim forged into a hideous villain because of a deity’s amoral nature and unrestrained libido. The victim of rape is turned into the enemy. I believe this another in the seemingly endless list of examples found in ancient texts of these systems being male-made institutions. The female is almost always vilified and feared by man. And it is no surprise that in regions of the world in which women have the most rights, and control over their own bodies, civilization advances.


Acquisition




• February 13, 2017

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