Allegoric-Reality: Perfectionist


  1. The perfectionist has very high expectations, so the columns and the sky that she’s wanting to reach. But she’s held back by the brambles, the limits of her techniques and abilities, which catch her legs, while the monster, her excessive self-critic, torment her, saying things like “you’re not good, what you’ve done here is a complete fail etc.”.
    On the other columns, some other perfectionist are dead. It’s first a symbolic death: by setting overly high objectives, the perfectionist often disheartens himself and then abandons. But it can evolve in a more psychological and physical way when the despondence become depreciation of himself, which can lead to depression and self harming.

    So how is my interpretation? Not sure everything is good, I don’t get some parts like the ravens, usually corvids evoke to me Odin, but it’s probably unrelated here x)

    1. Author

      That’s what I love about art and artworks: everybody sees something (slight) different in it. 🙂
      It’s a very interesting interpretation you have there – you can defenitly see it that way and it’s very similar to how I meant it:

      I start with the creature that’s with the girl: it’s an inner demon, that shares some similarities with a peacock (which I associate with vanity here – that’s why the creature is rather ugly). The girl wants to be perfect (that’s why she’s sitting on the high pillar), driven by the whispers of her inner demon that constantly tells her that she’s not good enough yet and needs to work harder, harder, harder to achieve more in life. And so she works harder, but it doesn’t make her happy to push herself that hard (thorn-tail of the demon; injuries at leg; and look at her face and pose). So why not slow down a bit, stop trying to be “the best” and be happy with being “good” (that’s why the plant on the pillar doesn’t reach the top; and the group of ravens show the same: instead of trying to be “alone on the top”, better be a bit below the top -but in a group of others. That’s an relief of course, that’s why the circle inside the ravens is white. And that’s why the ravens are above the top of the pillar: though they’re not “perfect/ the best”, they’re happier that way – and being happy in life should be the top goal, I think)
      About the other two pillars: the perfectionist on the right pillar got eaten by his/her inner demon. Put too much pressure on him/herself, and killed him/herself.
      The one on the right pillar got pushed down from his/her inner demon: the human there was working so hard that he/she got a burn-out.
      (I completely agree with your interpretation of these two perfectionists too)

      Thanks for your interpretation – I always love to read what others see in my works c:

      1. Yeah, personal experience plays an important role in the lecture of this kind of works (well, except if you read it from the author pov, but it’s more a “university” approach, and it would probably be less interesting here (and it requires a very good knowledge of the author btw).

        I’m very perfectionist, so it speaks a lot to me x). I’ve interpreted the other columns like this because it happens a lot to me, it’s like when I draw: I want to draw but as I can’t reach my expectation it becomes more a pain than a pleasure because I’m always like “oh no it’s awful, all is wrong stupid me” x)
        I think I’ve totally missed the “alone on the top” thing because it’s not really my preoccupation, as I’ve been in this situation in school since primary school, so I’m kinda used to it, like if it were normal.

        1. Author

          Indeed, that’s why interpretations are so interesting to read, because they often tell a lot about the person interpreting the artwork.
          I guess people can never truly see an artwork the same way the artist (who drew the artwork) does, because to see it the same way as the artist people either need to be very similar to the artist (what’s unlikely) or know the artist extremly good (also unlikely). People can only try to find out what the artist meant, and interpret the artwork based on their experience, thoughts, emotions, …

          ah, I know what you mean.^^

  2. Oh you know, scholars are better than NSA to find informations about the life of an artist x)
    But well yeah, sometimes I’m a bit suspicious about the intentions my fellow scholars give to an artist dead for centuries, they say the artist want to say this or that, and always I respond “well ok, where is the document where he says so?” x)

    1. Author

      Indeed! And how do they wanna know that he wanted to say something at all and wasn’t just high on drugs or something XD
      *thinks about Hieronymus Bosch here*

      Oh, btw. -a bit out of context- do you also know Francisco de Goya?

      aaaand -really out of context- it’s snowing here!!! We have about 15-20cm snow now and it’s still snowing *-* Our ice dragons are already fulfilling their holy task. XD

      1. Goya seems to be not well known in Austria, because from my French point of view, it’s a bit strange to ask to a Magister, nearly Doctor, in History of Arts if he knows him XD
        Here there is pictures of Goya’s painting in all school history books from primary till high school, because of his paintings of Napoleonic Wars (well, I should say, there was, because it was the case when I was young, but now the courses have been butchered so I’m not sure it’s still in it).
        So yeah I know him x)

        We have snow also here, but only something like 1cm, it’s not fair! I’ll complain to the ice dragons administration x)

        1. Author

          then I’m really sorry for “insulting” you XD
          I actually thought that he’s rather famous, but it seems like barely anyone knows him <.<'' haha, you know, the trick is: I gave them cookies 8D That's why most of the icedragons are here and making snow~~ You should try that to!

          1. But what will I eat if I give them my cookies? x)

          2. Author

            Apfelstrudel :D!

          3. It’s an Austrian thing we don’t have here =þ

          4. Author

            But I know you can make some xP

          5. Ice dragons should eat ice, not my yummy cakes ><

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