Postmodern Art Perspectives -or- Visual Outlines of Pizza Pizza

Hyperrealism of Dreams -or- The History of Painting

"I dream of painting and then I paint my dream." Vincent Van Gogh

Painting is an artistic mode of visual expression that also finds expressions in our nightly dreams. The Western history of painting may date as far back as 30 to 40,000 years ago. The Bible has inspired many painters to paint Biblical scenes as witnessed in Michelangelo's "Sistine Chapel", which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Below is a dream that discusses painting, Mary and the Christ child.

Sebastian, 25

I had a dream where my mother and brother were making paintings.  They were painting Mary adoring the Christ child. My mother was painting the scene in the desert. My brother was painting the scene as a copy of a medieval painting he had gotten off the web. The medieval painting was supposed to be one known to me, a painting before even Duccio, but one which used all the perspective technique of Giotto and eerie beauty of Andrei Rublev.  But the colors were only gold and blue. I laughed about this to my brother. His only response, not a justification, just a matter of fact statement, was that he had been commissioned to do this work. I asked my mother if she was drawing the outlines of her painting before she started painting. She said, ‘no'. I looked at her painting.  All the outlines were painted in with thick, black strokes. She said, ‘Oh, that's a different method'. I imagined her finished painting. The Christ child would be a phoenix rising out of the breast of Mary. I looked at her finished painting. At this time someone brought my brother a pizza on behalf of the people commissioning him.

Mr Hagen's Response; Let it Be -or- The Postmodern Cultural Imagination

There are many creative points of entry into this postmodern dream, where the visual scene in the dream uses "a copy of a medieval painting he (his brother) had gotten off the web". The dreamer has retained a memory in the dream of the medieval art and  the painters Duccio, Giotto and Andrei Rublev. The painting of his dream uses the visual "perspective technique" of Giotto and combines it with the aesthetic beauty of Rublev. The dreamer asks his mother if she is "drawing the outlines of her painting before she started painting", her answer is "no". In order to understand painting, studying the past outlines of painting, its essence and styles can provide the psychological foundation for a new creative vision.

What we can find creative in this dream, is when he imagines the finished painting, the Christ child would be a phoenix rising out of the breast of Mary. The pagan mythological symbolism of the phoenix becomes conceptually blended with Christian iconography. This archetypal mythology can be associated to the "dying God" reborn. The dream interpretation "The Global Banking Industry", posted over 14 years ago at the IIDR website speaks about Christian faith, and potential rebirth. 

From an artistic perspective the dream can be viewed from the concept of Massurrealism, which is a trend among postmodern artists to conceptually mix and blend the surrealism of the dream with mass media (the web) creating a postmodern hyperrealism. This visual hyperrealism paradigm of culture industry consumption is reinforced in the dream when the pizza arrives at the end of the dream. Walter Benjamin's essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" can be used to explain the mass media effects on dreams such as this one. In this sense the "copy gotten off the web" is one more dream that Umberto Eco would originally call "Faith in Fakes" later updated as "Travels in Hyperreality".

From a popular music culture perspective, the Beatles song "Let it Be" with its lyrics about Mother Mary, was reportedly creatively inspired by a dream that Paul McCartney had about his mother.


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.