THE VENUS TRANSIT
Marius Black First Solo Show at Kanto Artist Run Space
June 6- 16, 2012
Reception will be on June 6, 6pm.
Kanto Artist Run Space, 7274 The Collective, Malugay St,
The passage of Venus in front of the sun is among the rarest of astronomical events, rarer even than the return of Halley’s Comet every 76 years. Only six transits of Venus are known to have been observed by humans before: in 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, and 1882 and, most recently, in 2004.
Explorations were set out for further observation whenever this rare alignment occurs ensuing the progress of explorations in the 19th century and these explorations gave birth to other explorations. The transits of Venus have further helped us have a better grasp to determine the size of our solar system. The planet Venus is rich in archetypal symbolism. It is often known as the Morning Star, the Bringer of Light. It is related to love, human unity, beauty, and oneness.
The planets are once again aligning on June 5-6th 2012; this will be the last Venus transit we humans will observe in our lifetime. With that rare of an astronomical event, Marius Black offers his first solo show to the transit of Venus.
Marius Black is a cum laude graduate of UST major in painting. His early works were of skinned human figures telling stories of constant pain and suffering in life and in love. These figures were only seen on a dead black background as if the skinless figures were kept in a dungeon highlighting only the bright red meat and muscle.
His transition of painting concepts and styles ranged from horses deconstructed to fictional characters from games and TV co-existing with the female figure in sexual fantasy positions or constrictions.
His more memorable works among this transition are female nudes with elephant heads giving a message of purity, beauty and wisdom. He depicts them juxtaposed on master artworks like Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Klimt’s The Virgin and most recently Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus.
In Western society Venus is associated with beauty, femininity, love and sexuality. She is the Goddess incarnated. The most well-known image we have of her is the famous painting of Sandro Botticelli: La nascita di Venre, or the Birth of Venus. Strangely enough the original title of the painting was ‘Le Temps revient’, an esoteric description of the return of an age of enlightenment, beauty and art. The Feminine was always seen as the muse, the source of inspiration for artists, philosophers and writers. In a world where patriarchal values have dominated more then two thousand years, the return of the feminine would be of immense value. When Venus is moving in front of the sun, it seems like the goddess of beauty is literally put into the spotlight.
In a form of ekphrasis, Marius responds to Botticelli’s work and creates a familiar but different Birth of Venus in oil painting entitled, The Rebirth of Venus where the beautifully new born goddess is baring her nude body for everyone to see as to Botticelli’s version. This also gives an opposite remark as to when Adam and Eve first bit the forbidden fruit of knowledge and puts them both to shame therefore covering their private parts from then on.
This is also a respond to that moment, as Venus being reborn, she is instead now proud to let her true beauty seen without malice or lust, just the beauty of the female nude. The artist took Botticelli’s painting as if it were a puzzle to be decoded and to be shown on Venus’ day of birth.
In one of the early Mayan books, the Dresden Codex, the planet Venus is also associated with Quetzalcoatl, the “creator” of Maya civilization. It is said that he transformed into Venus when he ascended from the Earth plane. Quetzalcoatl is said to embody the finest qualities of the head of the spiritual realm, Hunab Ku. He holds fast to the more feminine aspects of culture as a source as he metaphorically sits on his jaguar throne in Venus, awaiting return to Earth.
The essence of his teaching is that human existence must strive to transcend the world of forms that conceal ultimate reality. The means of advancing along this path to “spirituality” is purification. The planetary focus on the transit that Venus will make again across the center of our sun in the ecliptic moments coming on June 5/6 of 2012 could very well awaken humankind to a renewal of hope and an opportunity to take this step toward the “resurrection” of Quetzalcoatl and the redemption and “purification” of mankind.
Ancient Mesopotamian mythology associated Venus with Ishtar believed that she enters the Underworld when she becomes visible to us in the night sky in her conjunction. We are witnessing Venus’ return to the Underworld where she restores her power where Ishtar descends to meet her dark sister Ereshkigal in the Underworld. Venus in her dark goddess feminine form is a rare and not to be underestimated power.
Marius’ works is a marriage of his art styles and concepts about the numerous beliefs of Venus through different cultures. He combines these elements and shows them through unseen worlds and unseen beings breaking through our reality. With or without skin, these figures of elephant head beings he calls Elepanta are depicted either merging together to be as one or floating beautifully, meditating staring at the viewer as the viewer looks at the Elepanta in the painting.
Black describes his artworks as a form of reaching a certain point in him that he and his painting attain a certain “relationship” together, the artist being the lover who serenades the women in his artworks by painting them beautifully. He describes; “Like in a real relationship, it both needs sufficient time, effort, hard work, persistence and love.”
The prophecies tie up to a great exploration of the heavenly bodies and promise a higher understanding, a new vision, a new age. The Venus transit also foretells the arts flourishing, creating a new renaissance. Weather these beliefs and prophecies are true or not, it can be a sign to let this Transit of Venus be our way of witnessing that change or making these changes ourselves. This astronomical event is a transition not only of Venus by the sun, but it can also mean it is our transition to a new age.
When Venus transcends the sun, it will be our transition as well for enlightenment and harmony. This is a belief worth believing, that we are close to a new era of consciousness and of progress.
2012 will not be the end, it is a new beginning.
Kanto Artists Run Space is located at The Collective 7274 Malugay St. Brgy San Antonio Village, 1203 Makati, Philippines
Artists Reception June 6, 2012 – 6:00 PM
Exhibit duration June 6-16, 2012