Oil on Canvas,
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Oil on Canvas
W: 900mm x H: 600mm x D: 50mm
W: 35" x H: 24" x D: 2"
This work is
About "Venus Rising"
The Venus series deals with womanhood. It tells of how human society have become unappreciative of what womanhood used to stand for; broadly speaking, we have, in many ways, lost care-givers and mothers and we have replaced them with aggressive, career-serving sex-goddesses.
The central image of the Venus is based on the most famous fertility symbol of all, the Venus of Willendorf [0x1] with slight adaptations to become a more universal symbol of womanhood and fertility.
This painting, the first in the series, introduces the theme. Looming on the horizon, superimposed upon a restless, tempestuous sky, stands the Venus figure, bathed in a halo of energy and light. This halo glows crimson with life and vitality. She is what we have forgotten; the assurance of the continuation of our species. The fact that she is on the horizon (thus further back in the picture) suggests the past - (paradoxically, horizons can also represent the future so in that sense there is a suggestion of the cyclical nature of things).
Following the line of one-point perspective we get to the vase/pot/container/receptacle [0x1] seductively displayed on a flat surface (maybe a table or a pedestal of sorts). This is the sign of things to come.
Containers often feature strongly in Moller[0x1]s work and their symbolic value changes according to the context. Keys to unravelling their meaning are ideas such as: containers hold valuable or beautiful objects, they protect and nurture (like flowers in a vase). They can also restrict and confine and for life to continue and evolve it needs to break free from containers. The womb, also, is a container.
From a male-chauvinist point of view, women are often seen as mere receptacles for men/sperm[0x1].
Closest to the viewer is the human face, frozen in an expression of sudden realisation, almost literally proclaiming, [0x1]My God, what have we done[0x1]?[0x1] Alternatively the face can be read as passive and unfeeling. It looks out into the space beyond the painting [0x1] into the viewer[0x1]s world. In doing so it draws the viewer in, and he/she is no longer an objective observer. We are very much a part of the society that is being scrutinized here.
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View all 129 works by Eric Möller
About the Artist -- (Article by: Griffin von Ritt for Art Busker International)
Eric Moller has been exhibiting his works since 1995. He has had eight solo exhibitions, taken part in numerous group exhibitions, was nominated twice as finalist in the PPC Sculpture Competition and was granted a SANAVA residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. On this occasion he wrote a book about his experiences (86 Days in the City of Lights) which was subsequently published both locally and internationally. He is a teacher of Visual Arts and lives a quiet life with his three dogs in the East of Pretoria.
Moller grew up in 'what was then a small sea-side town'. He hated school and was uncomfortable with family-life so he mostly headed off on his own. When he wasn't bounding after butterflies or accosting arachnids, he spent his time in the many secret spaces between the rocks by the sea, where he snorkeled and always found himself fascinated and utterly in awe of the unexpected and exotic life-forms that existed beneath the surface of the ocean.
'Had it not been that the Art Bug bit me early in my life, I would have been a Bug Scientist - no doubt!' he says.
'It is my early fascination with Natural History in its entirety that still drives my art today. In my art the expression is more condensed, though, in that it deals with a search for - or maybe an understanding of - the essence of the life force. It's about what makes us aware, feel, twitch and respond... about what makes us happy and sad; all in a very human, inexplicable way. On the one hand it is the love of life, the mystery, the magic, the incomprehensible mind-bending BIGNESS of it all... on the other it is the sadness I have felt all my life; the sense that there is an inescapable great emptiness following close behind, lapping at my heels.'
There is surely so much more that can be said about the man and his work. There are unfathomable depths that even he finds difficult and perplexing to explore, there is that scientific understanding of the stuff that holds us all together, there are so many more questions and there have most probably never really been answers.
I leave you with this: When you look at the works of Eric Moller, first see the colours, the tight composition, and the lines that twirl and contort in seductive dances and always lead you back to a new place - another place to start off from. Observe the pulsating shadows that entice you to search for more. See LIFE! See his technical mastery of the various mediums he uses. Now see 'the void', creeping up from behind. Somewhere in all of that celebration lurks something shadowy and cryptic... something that threatens to suck life, love, beauty and joy from all that we know. It is mostly announced (quite paradoxically) by the deepest tone of Moller's favourite colour - Prussian Blue.
As your mind boggles and wrestles with unexpected contortions, the artist does his magic - and you can always depend on it: the colours, lines, textures and all those other things that first you saw and that make these works so alluring grab a hold of you again and pull you back from the precipice. Suddenly there is joy. Life has meaning again.
These things, and probably other stuff we have not yet considered, make this artist's work so VERY important.
'... until the big asteroid hits us, of course...!' Eric Moller chuckles to himself.
Eric Moller has works in private and corporate collections in South Africa, The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Portugal, The United States, The Netherlands and Singapore.
Eight solo exhibitions and fourteen group shows.
University of Pretoria
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