“The Avatar” is the visual externalization of the Freudian analogy for the Human Psyche. The Id, Ego, and Super-Ego are embodied in an energetically dynamic, bilaterally symmetric “all at onceness”.
“According to Freud’s model of the psyche, the id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories, the super-ego operates as a moral conscience, and the ego is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego.” –https://www.simplypsychology.org/psyche.html
The Avatar is composed, much like Freud’s model, as a multifaceted experience of “all at once-ness”
Bottom Left and Right – Identity
We see the corporeal delineation of a human face. Though it appears that there are two separate beings in context of the full image, I have meant them to symbolize 2 halves of a single entity unzipped down the center of the cranium. The psychedelics, especially the tryptamines, have a certain function wherein the identity complex of the intoxicated human is discarded much like a husk from a corncob. This experience can be terrifying for a novice and indeed pleasant for a seasoned veteran.
Bottom Center – Id
Id is driven by violent nature itself and is almost alien in appearance, signifying our detachment from our basest instinct. In Western Society we find little use for gut and hunches and yet they persist as a fail-safe should our experiment in civilization abort. Id is completely confident in his primal state and though neglected through our attempts at transcendence, he waits patiently for his moment in the sun, should one arise.
This is the Avatar that the entirety of the piece is fixed upon. I have a great affinity with Hawks and Falcons. These most majestic birds of prey draw me into confident living. Balanced, focused, aware and with great vision, Ego as Avatar is the conduit of outward flowing hope manifest in decisive action. It is the modicum of discipline governing flight and fancy. Ego, in the context of the artwork, is not some out-of-control, rabid, power-monger but a focal point balancing the unfoldment of instinct and destiny. When I am lost in mind, in those moments of aimless wandering, it is the Hawk that reminds me that I am as much a native to this planet as he.
Top Center- Superego
Superego is moral conscience. Eyes fixed to Heaven this Aspect leads us beyond our dimwitted folly and worldly machinations.
To those who know my art but are not familiar with me as a person it may be startling to discover that I have a profound faith in Christ. I was not raised in a cult nor brow beaten by guilt. I found no solace in penance nor escape from shame in sackcloth and ash. Instead, my family let me experience and come to my own conclusions.
Growing up in privileged circumstances afforded me the opportunity to attend a great college or perhaps start a business after high school. As an act of decadent, adolescent rancor, I chose otherwise. My acquired spite for Western frivolity was quite ill-founded and way premature but we cannot change the past. I descended inward and journeyed across oceans in search of authenticity. I desired something real, marked by rites of passage, suffering, adventure and, dare I say, understanding. Something truly human.
I actively rejected celebrated Pastors posed in judgement on the authority of All Powerful God and found myself instead without boundary nor compass. I impugned the clergy and flailed in the depths of demon-haunted mushroom intoxication without direction and ever closer to the event horizon of destruction. I met alien overlords from the 8th dimension whose sole purpose is torture and I succumbed to temptation like it was my religion. I watched my then future ex-wife sexually ravaged by Lucifer and my deathwish brought my throat to the end of a steak knife in a Romanian Hostel. I shaped up for a time but had not reached my destination. Still, I descended the twisted staircase to Hades. It was only when I could no longer sleep for paranoia of my body being snatched and my soul stolen forever that I finally cried for help. Only after dangling in the jaws of Satan did I consider that I may have missed out on Love. In realizing that I had forsaken all that was wonderful did I desire the simplicity of gratitude and the graces of my delightful family that I had given away. And by only the Grace of God did the needs of my heart begin to resonate with a larger purpose.
Looking back on these trials, I realize now that what I really needed to know was that I was not alone. I can see that I was searching for the most primal understanding concerning loneliness. Through all of the darkness I pursued a Creator to assure me that I was not the center of the universe and to truly believe that death is not only reserved for my enemies. I needed to verify that life was dangerous and immediate and that violence wasn’t something that happened to other people but was universally distributed like some kind of karmic electroshock therapy. I abused my mind and ravaged my sanity in order to create the circumstances for an emergent humanity and ultimately…Salvation. And so I stand here today, healed not of my own will. What I finally met within the depths of my psyche is something greater than fear, greater than death and greater than my self-centered devotions to Eros and Thanatos. To me It said “I Am”. And for this I am eternally grateful.
Center Left and Right – Catalyst
The Serpent was a constant companion through the underworld. It served as both Tempter and Aegis, leading me into pain and then slithering in to fend off lesser demons and offer its cold comforts amidst chaos. I have great respect for the power of this ancient creature and learned much of its techniques and so I keep my distance nowadays. In the image above you will see the Hebraic “Call to the Pursuit of Justice” hovering like a binding spell over the reptile. This is a reminder that I no longer fear illusion and with awareness we may alter the course of our future history. Or perhaps it is fate and characteristic of our journey home.
Top Left and Right – The Winged Sun
This image came directly from a San Pedro journey. The Winged Sun’s first glimmers appeared in Sumeria. It matured in Babylon with Ahura Mazda, and gracefully aged in Khemet (Ancient Egypt). It is a deeply profound symbol requesting its observer to consider the potential of awareness and spirit based growth. Often associated with the King as incarnation of Sun God, its potency wafts through all who gaze upon it. In my translation of my vision of it, the Winged Sun is encircled by dark, shifting matter. Like a puzzle, the cold surfaces lock into configurations of meaning and cast shadows accordingly. It is a reminder that the existence of light necessitates its opposite, for without darkness all would lack meaning. But it is the gravitas of life itself that attracts and fills the emptiness. This representation is of harmony and a key indicator of meaning within the fabric of reality.
If you appreciate this work you may obtain a Limited Edition, Signed Canvas or Paper Print here
The Avatar and The City of God was originally commissioned by my good friend, Andrew Wasielewski. He gave me free reign and full control of the art with the solitary caveat that the image must translate to sublimated hoodies and t-shirts.
Below you will see the final product.
Obtain The Avatar Hoodies here
And Tapestries Here
Take good care of yourselves.