Subject(s) / Character(s):
The subject of "Bite Me" is Eden Myoukenguchi (OC) in recline with a snake wound around his person.
This piece is approximately 8&1/2" by 11".
Medium / Tools:
Mechanical pencil .5 (HB)
Faber-Castell pencils (2H, HB, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B)
Sources / References:
Explanation / Analysis:
This piece was inspired by my Roman Catholic background and the iconography that pervades that religion, specifically the Adam and Eve creation myth.
According to the biblical story, God fashioned man and named him Adam. He created a paradise for him, the Garden of Eden, which Adam was to protect and tend. God had explained that though the garden was his to enjoy there was one tree he was forbidden to eat from: the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
He brought animals to Adam so that he could name them and, upon finding no such animal that would provide him with suitable companionship, God shaped a woman from Adam’s person. This woman, Eve, was tempted by the wisest of beasts, a serpent, to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. She does so and, in turn, tempts Adam, who also partakes of the forbidden fruit. God discovers their disobedience and, as punishment, casts Adam and Eve out of paradise.
Without any familiarity to this creation myth, the subject of this piece can be understood as a male figure, wrapped in a snake, holding a bitten apple. In this way, though technique can be appreciated, it is only one aspect of the work’s whole. With the additional understanding of the biblical story, the man can be interpreted as Adam, the snake as temptation, and the apple as an object of desire.
I decided not to illustrate Eve because she would have been an expected character for this theme. This gender change altered the piece in a positive way: without the male having any identity (that is, no face), the viewer can impart their own attributes to the subject. Instinctively, this process tends to involve the male stereotype of dominance. This quality is the opposite of what the pose suggests as a subject in recline indicates submission.
The subject of dominance in this piece is Temptation, or rather, the snake: though its gentle, sloping curves may be deceiving initially, its body is securely fastened around the figure, manipulating him.
The title of this piece, “Bite Me”, is somewhat humorous in its interpretation. It can be certainly understood from the perspective of the male figure to the snake, or perhaps the male figure to the viewer, (or even the snake as a taunt to the male figure or the viewer). This was my intent; to allow the viewer the freedom of these varied interpretations despite having a favorite personal viewpoint: the apple’s.
Exhibitions / Honors:
"Bite Me" was displayed from March 26th, 2015 - April 24th, 2015 in the Pittmann-Puckett Gallery in the First Annual Transgender Empowerment & Visibility Exhibition.