Thursday, July 1, 2010

Borne Aloft

A Feather From Pegasus’ Wing (inspired by ancient Greek mythology) – Vintage gold-leafed shadow box frame; natural white feather; theatrical blood; black paint; star field showing the constellation of Pegasus in the night sky done in white pencil; altered art pieces—cut-outs of clouds, stone label

Sunlight strikes the keen edge of a sword blade.

In the mirrored brightness of a polished shield the hero sees his quarry.

The sword is raised and cuts the air.

A neck is severed, a head rolls, blood spurts.

With the help of the gods, the young Perseus has just slain the gorgon, Medusa.

Medusa, a legendary beauty who so offended the goddess Athena by a base coupling with the lord of the oceans, Poseidon, within the sanctity of her temple. Thus the goddess of wisdom and war cursed the lovely maid with an ugliness beyond compare. Her fair skin grew dark and covered in reptilian scales, her lithe fingers became a lizard’s claws, her lush tangle of hair coming to life, a writhing nest of serpents—and from that moment on, any living thing from ant to human that gazed upon this frightful creature would be turned to stone.

Now that abomination lay dead, Medusa’s head snatched up and placed in a leather bag, and off Perseus flew to smite his family’s enemies, leaving the gorgon’s body twitching in the sun, a grotesque island in a sea of blood.

But from that blood something arose—a magnificent winged horse, shaking its pristine white hide and mane free of sanguine spots. The equine tested its wings, once, twice, and then took to the clouds.

From Medusa’s vile hideousness, the dazzling splendor of Pegasus was born.

Ancient Greek legend tells that one day Pegasus came to rest on Mt. Olympus, the home of the gods. When his hoofs touched the ground there, four sacred springs of water burst forth and from these fonts the Muses were born, nine goddesses who reigned over the arts and sciences, especially music, poetry, and all of the visual arts.

Since that time, Pegasus has become the symbol of divine inspiration, ready at any moment to take flight, carrying an artist’s imagination into the creative heavens, where he can still be seen as a constellation in starry northern sky.

—in the collection of the internationally acclaimed artist, designer, and illustrator, David Palladini, Corona del Mar, CA

“My doorbell rang today. I never answer the door. Through the peephole, I saw the postman in his shorts and pith helmet, and his white handlebar moustache. He was holding a box.

The box was a gift from a friend I have never met. An artist and illustrator like me. Inside, I found a wondrous black frame with a glass front. It contained a beautiful white feather tipped with blood. It was “A Feather From Pegasus’ Wing.” Pegasus, my hero, my inspiration. The creator of the artistic muses who guided my life.

I have gazed upon Pegasus in the night sky through my telescope. He flies free through the astral progression with his wings spread in the blackness of space.

My artist friend had encapsulated the essence of the great winged horse in a simple and beautiful way, and had offered it to me. With much thought, labor, and love, Scot had given me the product of his artistic soul. I will treasure it always.”

—David Palladini