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Gloria Mundi
gloria mundi, rust, concrete, gears, steampunk

I wanted to paint rust and concrete.

Honestly, that was the only point this painting had when I started on it. I'd been on a concrete-and-rusty-metal kick for a while thanks to Ursula Vernon's "Gearworld" paintings. So in a weekend fit of painting, I did this...thingy. This apparently uber-symbollic, deep, thought-provoking thingy.

When I was nearly done with the painting and was trying to figure out what I would call it, I realized it looks like some kind of symbollic representation, probably of something terribly dire and philosophical. So I puzzled on what it could be, and I decided that I wanted a Latin phrase inscribed on the gear. After a little digging on the Internet, the phrase that finally struck me was "Sic transit gloria mundi," which means "So passes the glory of the world."

What I came to feel this painting represents is mankind's pride in its own works, man's insistance on clinging to the matierial and believing human civiliation and inginuity to be the pinnacle of the universe: man's arrogance in himself and his own creations. Ultimately, all of these crumble, fall, and return to dust, no matter how permanent we believe them to be. I personally extened this meaning to encompass man's reliance upon himself and his own works rather than on God: man's attempt to replace God with man-made cities and civilizations and laws, all of which crumble and fall away, while God alone remains.

Pretty deep for a painting that started as just an excuse to pain concrete and rust, huh?

Date: June 2005
Tools: Corel Painter 8
Dimensions: 4200 x 3300 pixels (11" x 14" @ 300 dpi)

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