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Sophie Brussaux: L'Éducation Sentimentale Collection

Sophie Brussaux: L'Éducation Sentimentale Collection

The woman painted here is the concept of the First Woman, Eve, Lilith, Pandora, you name it. I chose the myth of Apollo and Daphne for its symbolic representation of Lust vs Chastity, freedom, and transformation. Several versions throughout the art world have emerged. Yet, the ones that really stuck with me are Ovid's Metamorphoses and Gustav Klimt's ""The Kiss."" Apollo, the Greek God of the sun and arts, falls in lust at first sight with Daphne, a beautiful Naiad nymph who had devoted her life to perpetual virginity. After turning down many suitors, she chose to remain celibate and unmarried like Artemis, the virgin huntress. Apollo, not taking no for an answer (apparently harassment wasn't a crime at the time…), chased Daphne, regardless of her constant rejection. She kept on fleeing on her nimble, pretty Naiad feet. As she lost strength, Daphne saw her godly father Peneus and begged him to free her from Apollo. Peneus acceded to her request and turned her into a laurel tree. The interpretation that resonates to me from this myth is the internal struggle between lust and chastity and one's inner (self) and external (society, parents, etc.) expectations. Apollo and Daphne are just two factions raging against each other within one’s self. The final result is oftentimes initiated by an external source, such as Daphne's father in the fable. In my painting, the woman is holding a fuel pump, shaped into a snake, as per the biblical serpent of knowledge in the Garden of Eden who made Eve fall from Grace. The red heart between her legs symbolizes lustful passion and rebirth, channelled by the serpent, for there can be no metamorphosis without higher knowledge. Daphne may have turned into a tree to safeguard her chastity. Still, the woman in my painting is going a step further. Instead of denying lust, she embraces it to achieve purity, symbolized here by the flowers. The key to metamorphosis isn't denial but acceptance. Music composition by Alex Juv.

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