ARE WE TURNING OUR PARTNERS INTO GODS?
RISE: A Solo Art Exhibition by Chicago Artist, Jenny Vyas
These are some of the pieces I showcased at my solo art exhibition, “RISE” at Fulton Market Kitchen in Chicago last Friday, August 19th. I often tie my art to writings I have fallen in love with over the years across a miriad of topics in philosophy and psychology. More on my process and work can be seen on my website here.
In this body of work, I attempted to deconstruct LOVE as an integrated response of the mind and body to man’s own highest values seen in the virtues of their partner’s character.
Let’s talk about love.
There’s a great line from the book “Essays in Love” by Alain de Botton.
“Every fall into love involves the triumph of hope over self-knowledge.” — Alain de Botton, Essays in Love
In an era fueled by infogluttony and instant gratification, love and sex have become the disappointing answer to life’s riddle, the abandoned idea of a God, our search for immortality, and the denial of our death. Are we then striving to turn our partners into Gods?
“When you confuse personal love and cosmic heroism you are bound to fail in both spheres. The impossibility of the heroism undermines the love, even if it is real. This double failure is what produces the sense of utter despair that we see in modern man… Love, then, is seen a religious problem.” — Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death
This work is about the burden of Godhood that we put on our partners, and our relationships. Nietzsche once said that God is dead, so we desperately needed something else to believe in. In our quest to seek salvation, nirvana, and our hope to be saved from our miseries and disappointments in ourselves, we turn to LOVE from our partners to obtain that. We almost deify them. We have essentially turned our partners into God. And no relationship can bear the burden of Godhood.
“We fall in love hoping we won’t find in another what we know is in ourselves, all the cowardice, weakness, laziness, dishonesty, compromise, and stupidity. We throw a cordon of love around the chosen one and decide that everything within it will somehow be free of our faults. We locate inside another a perfection that eludes us within ourselves, and through our union with the beloved, hope to maintain (against the evidence of all self-knowledge) a precarious faith in our species.” ― Alain de Botton, Essays in Love
The notion that “you complete me” is a slippery slope. Because a successful relationship takes compromise, understanding and a lot of self-love. I turly believe that if you don’t have enough self-love, you really don’t have any capacity to love someone else. And the key to a successful relationship is knowing that it is a partnership. Not the final piece to your life’s puzzle.
“Everything that was not suffered to the end and finally concluded, recurred, and the same sorrows were undergone.” — Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
My paintings here are an ambitious attempt at capturing these sentiments. And I hope this is just the beginning of an incredible story unfolding. After reading this far, I hope you leave inspired and a little more in love. ❤