November 22nd, 2010
Leonardo da Vinci, in his advice to the artist who wished to enhance his creative faculties, suggested that he stare at a stain on the wall and therein he would see whatever he wished to see. Today, we are now familiar with the Rorschach Test and that patients are evaluated based on their perception of various images that they may see in an inkblot. We have all stared at the clouds and seen cuddly animals and we have also seen similar images in a drop of water on the dining table. Hence, do you believe that if you scrutinize any image you may be able to see whatever you want to see based on your idiosyncrasies? Well start looking at some of the famous European old master paintings or, for that matter, any image that you choose. There is imagery hidden in all of them, regardless of the intent of the original creators of those images.
My first introduction to that type of perception was when my mother sought to teach my brother and me to read. Having given us a reading assignments during our vacation, she then wanted to check whether we had done the assignment. She decided to quiz us on the material that we were supposed to have read by asking a simple question.
"Show me the map of Italy," she said.
Seeing that my brother was unable to answer the question, she gave him a hint saying,
"Italy is kicking Sicily".
That was a light-bulb moment for me. So I exclaimed,
"Ma, Dominica (my birth country) looks like a penguin and Guadeloupe (the Kreyole speaking French province to the north) looks like a butterfly."
She had inadvertently ignited a fire of insatiably curious observation that still burns implacably today, fifty years later. To reinforce that, in 1980, my apparently irrational practice of dredging my subconscious for hidden imagery within images found legitimacy in Leonardo's suggestion. I then tackled his most famous image trying to find the mystery of the Mona Lisa's smile. Well, my conclusion was that Leonardo employed his own suggestion and concealed images in his work also. One just has to look at the shadow beneath the Mona Lisa's nose (a gondola) or the outline of her neck and chest (a kitten). Look at the landscape over her left shoulder and it will reveal its secret (the head of a growling dog). Did Leonardo consciously conceal those images therein? I can't say that for sure, but I do believe that he intended for posterity to look more closely and that the results of one's search would be based solely on one's idiosyncrasies. One may notice my ubiquitous use of the " 'hand' of bananas" and that is always in deference to my father who worked with the banana industry, in my birth-country, for seventeen of my formative years. Therefore, it symbolizes "the hand that fed me."
Every version of the Mona Lisa that I have executed in the last twenty-eight (28) years has revealed something new and the revelations are always directly out of my own idiosyncrasies. My predilection for boats comes directly from the fact that my father later started his own business with a small fleet of barges. Whether or not Leonardo concealed images within his works is left for the experts to judge, however, I have found hidden images in many of his works, simply because I searched for them.
What I have concluded, is that if one searches, one shall find.
I have since worked towards finding hidden images in many other old master paintings and I have been successful in finding a lot that is hidden therein, probably unbeknown even to the original creators of these paintings. Go to: www.geocities.com/davyvon/Anthroperception.html follow the links to "Revelations" or the Power-point presentation, "Anthroperception" .
Each one reveals an alternate reality or dimension within our terrestrial three dimensional space. It reveals a parallel universe as a result of the combination of the two dimensional reality of the canvas and the three dimensional illusion that Leonardo's aerial perspective allows us to see.