Red Door #5 : She’ll never fit in there with those wings……

Recently completed, this piece was created for an ardent supporter of my art.

I’ll now try to provide some insight into how art often solidifies it’s meaning after it’s creation. A meandering discussion or path of thought is often a component.  Illustration, possibly in opposition to art (as I define it)  typically has its meaning established prior to its creation.  I have an Eplainlightenment entry in mind for the future in which I will  further delineate the lines in my mind between art and illustration. If you’re hungry for that concept, hold your pants on and I’ll try to get  to it in more detail later, but the following should also reveal the reach of some thoughts in that direction.

“She’ll never fit in there with those wings”. I’d been considering what the expanded title might be (beyond red door # five) when this title was suggested to me by one of the first few people to see the piece. (thanks Helene)  I like the idea. In fact it has already been used on a previous piece: Holy Grail. In the image below the concept of entering a cave prepared for another task, a.k.a.  flight, was one of the foremost in my mind during it’s creation . Though specifically,  I feel the meaning of the holy grail could be interpreted by the viewer in one of many ways,  the idea of the holy grail as a symbol for an ideal, though unattainable  goal was assumed.

The question occurs regarding both images: why would she even want to go in there? Maybe it isn’t such a good idea. Her wings might be useless beyond the threshold, however beyond the red door there is at least a possibly of a larger open space beyond.  Seeking the holy grail , of coarse, is brave or foolish, or possibly both.  Unlike the red door, it might be  oddly difficult to stop pursuing the holy grail even when you have serious doubts about it’s existence. In contrast the red doors of our lives are plane to see. They stand before us. We can choose not to enter. The red doors we don’t open  provide mystery, and the possibility of unknown corridors, of which too little information is available to guess  any proximity to an ideal corridor.

Along purely compositional lines, the idea of a figure approaching a facade has been addressed within the last year or so as in the this image:

This image was pure illustration, and provides little room for interpretation to those familiar with the content of the published book.  As I recall, it is some kind of a Tiefling hideout or social club. Regardless, it is always interesting to see certain basic themes emerge over and over again. Considering how frequently  any person approaches a literal threshold each day it almost surprising there aren’t more images of figures approaching doors popping up  to be illustrated.

I’ve fairly well established that the entire Red Door series addresses something about unknown roads. Included would also be roads which are unknown until the present (the time in which the image resides), since a path can become instantaneously  more known as it crosses a threshold into the past. Number five  admits with the appearance of a second red door in the background that choices (or roads)  can often be more complex than simple yes/enter or no/don’t enter.  Further choices exist when one contemplates the question :”is this the correct red door?”

Beyond the previous considerations, In relation to the post What is the upside down 2? , I realized at  some point that Red Door #5 was the first to exclude my upside down two symbol as a sort of address on the door. This lead to further contemplation that for  first time in the red door series I may have made reference to the choices of another person, as opposed to those of myself. Seeing  that the figure is female, the idea is further reinforced that the contemplater  of entry  is not the author.

Although  I thought passingly about some of these ideas during the sketch phase of this piece, none where held tightly enough to say I knew exactly what it meant at the time of it conception. The attention that needs to be paid to the physical craftsmanship and construction of a piece of art seems to never allow me to reside too long in a space where attention can be applied to it’s meaning. That said, I can easily guess that further interpretation of this piece will occur given more time and discussion of it with others. As of now I still haven’t exactly decided on what an expanded title might be or if it is really even necessary to have one…

Any ideas?

About dk

Doug Kovacs is an Artist and Illustrator who lives in Chicago
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