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HypoThermus's avatar

21st Century Baphomet

By HypoThermus
This has perhaps become one of my most defining works so far.
See more photos of it on my Tumblr costume blog 'Becoming the Myth':
becomingthemyth.tumblr.com/pos…

What is '21st Century Baphomet'?

Baphomet a mythological figure conceived by magician Eliphas Levi iin the 18th century.Levi drew inspiration from numerous cultural symbols (particularly from paganistic, christian, astrological and alchemical origins) to create the creature as a representation of human intellectual divinity. I intended to make the creature more relevant to modern society and transformed it to have appeared deteriorated due to humanity's preoccupation with conflict. Although I exhibited it in the end as a sculpture, my true aim was to make myself become the sculpture, which the majority of these photos will show. From this aim I've referred to the piece as a 'theatrical sculpture'.


The 'Anatomy' of Baphomet

Many of the components to Baphomet focused on military aesthetic, most significantly the mask. Originally, Baphomet has the head of a ram (often misinterpreted to be of a goat) but this was replaced in my piece with a genuine gas mask; its filter has been removed to be replaced with the silvery material made to look similar to splatter masks, worn by tank-crews during WWI, to protect them from shrapnel. The maks itself was also the part of the sculpture that changed the most, as I originally thought of incorporating a real skull of either a ram or goat. However, to find such material was going to be difficult and would take up time that I could not afford to waste. I eventually settled with producing a 'tribal-esque' painting of a skull onto the gas mask and made horns from electrical wire.

The components for the torso and legs were a lot more straightforward; military trouser were worn as well as army boots (with metal 'hooves' nailed onto them) and the torso was wrapped in novelty bullet belts, that fortunately brought the right effect to the piece with no need for modification.

The final components to be constructed, the wings were easily resolved in terms of design, but became more problamatic with construction. A synthetic material was used for the 'membrane' of the wings and was worn and torn to show ruin. As a final touch, ash and bronzing powder was sprinkled onto the wings and them rubbed into the material.


NOTE:
I originally thought of having the photos taken with me wearing nothing but the components for th actual piece itself,excluding the black long-sleeve shirt. I thought that having my bare torso exposed, especially since I do have a relatively scrawny figure, the piece could have perhaps looked more deprived and even starved. In any case, the final appearance has been satisfactory, namely the mask.
Image details
Image size
3383x2848px 3.06 MB
Make
NIKON CORPORATION
Model
NIKON D300
Shutter Speed
1/200 second
Aperture
F/7.1
Focal Length
22 mm
ISO Speed
200
Date Taken
May 25, 2011, 6:59:24 PM
Published:
© 2011 - 2021 HypoThermus
Comments31
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TakingLiberty's avatar
Extremely clever and well done. Clap 
HypoThermus's avatar
Thanks mate! It's funny looking back to it again already… It just seems so… crude. I still like it myself but it doesn't exactly feel as ambitious to me as other projects. Especially something like my Bleedheart costume.

I guess I can look back to it as an example of resourcefulness I managed when I had little to no costuming skills whatsoever.
;P
Pans-Music-Box's avatar
A very creative costume! Amazing job!
GoatLover666's avatar
This looks really cool!
Moon-Harpy's avatar
this is really cool and to some extend reminds me of the sandman when hes in his battle gear :)
HypoThermus's avatar
Again... people seem to reference this Sandman comic quite a few times and I can never figure out why?
I never even read them!
:XD:
Moon-Harpy's avatar
well I only read them about a year ago and the thing is at the start of the comic sandman has this big helmet thing that he wears that looks like this:[link]

its just the whole idea that the masks looks somewhat similar and the use of black colors and besides your design looks soo dreamy hence the sandman ^^ I still think it works both ways sandman and baphomet its really interesting concept and works really well yet looks so simple hey I guess what they say about simplicity sometmes look the best is true because this is really creative
NAKT-HAG's avatar
HEY ... this is something! Well done!
TiElGar's avatar
Amazing idea!
SpunkyFreakster's avatar
This is a cool pic, I mostly like the outfit..... o.o
HypoThermus's avatar
That's good to know, because the outfit's meant to be the art piece more than the actual photo. Hahaha!
=)
Jester-of-the-Clown's avatar
I dunno whether to lol at this or not. You've certainly worked on this...
HypoThermus's avatar
Jester-of-the-Clown's avatar
TickleMeHoHo's avatar
A nice picture, but I see Baphomet as more of a goat than a ram. Why else would we have been calling him the Goat of Mendes, the Black Goat, and a Sabbatic Goat for hundreds of years?
HypoThermus's avatar
It's most likely called a 'goat' for the convenience of the Christian interpretation of Baphomet (Parable of the Sheep and Goats an' such). After considerable research of Baphomet, I found it supposed to be the Ram of Mendes; the ram is the key deity of Mendes, which is a city in Egypt.
The article on Wikipedia oddly constantly says 'ram' and then 'goat' but as far as I'm aware it's meant to originally be a ram.
One of the ideas behind this piece was to reflect the severe misunderstanding Baphomet has endure as a symbol.
I also like to add I find it funny though how bands like many black metal bands continue to use symbols, based on the interpretation of the very faith they're supposed to be opposing.
TickleMeHoHo's avatar
I don't know where you got your informaton from, but I know for a fact that Wikipedia doesn't have all the answers. Based off of what I learned from books written by Aliester Crowley, the figure of Baphomet represents many Occult truths; one of which is it's association with the four elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water. It's wings represents the element of air and it sits on the top of the earth. One hand points to the full moon while the other points to the Dark Moon. These hand gestures express the perfect harmony between opposite polarities and represent the hermetic principle of, "as above, so below." The Dark Moon represents our actions and "Our Will to Action" toward our goals. The Full Moon represents the fulfillment of those goals. The two horns of Baphomet represents duality, and the Lotus Flame (also known as the Black Flame) that burns between them represents the eternal flame that destroys duality and causes us to see everything as being connected to the universe that surrounds us all. The Lotus Flame is symbolic of universal equilibrium and fire of course...

But then again the ram is in the same genus as the goat, so I don't think it would make a lick of difference whether or not we call it a ram or a goat because basically rams are just another species of goat. I personally see it as a goat, but then again Baphomet can be percieved in many ways by different people.

Christians saw that it had a goat head and they called it a demon, its more like the ultimate neutral being in my opinion. Christians dont like grey areas, everything is black and white to them. They dont live outside of the morality confines of good and evil, especially if they dont understand it and see something depicted as anthropomorphic, they dont understand it; so they label it a work of darkness and evil. From what I learned, Baphomet is the primary imagery for LaVeyan Satanism due to the fact that it represents our way of life completely; both angel and demon, human and beast, man and woman. It also shows you the right hand path (theism) and the left hand path (atheism).
HypoThermus's avatar
Good to see we both give enough of a damn to really look into this. And don't worry, I don't rely on Wikipedia for information on things like this. ;)
As for the neutrality idea behind the figure, I absolutely agree. Hence, I refer to Baphomet in my description as a symbol of 'human intellectual divinity', which is to be obtained through neutrality and understanding. Ironically enough, you know as well, this figure has been greatly misinterpreted and sadly it is this misunderstood view that is the most commonly known perception of Baphomet.

Funny, I didn't expect to be able to find someone I could have this much of a discussion about Baphomet with. :P
TickleMeHoHo's avatar
lol I know a lot more than most people think, I've been studying the Occult, Demonology and other things as a hobby for about five years now. But I totally agree with you in the sense of Baphomet symbolizing human intellectual divinity. You put it in a more scientific term than I did, if I do say so myself... lol
PlagueJester's avatar
Looks /awesome./ And I read the description and thought you did a grand job.

The only thing I'd suggest is trashing the DA watermark. No watermark would be better, but if you're really worried about people stealing your work, I can give you a quick and simple tut on making your own in photoshop. Not nearly as ugly and just as effective.
juggallos are a gang u kno
PlagueJester's avatar
Lmao.

No they're not, they're pussies. Went to high school with'em.
hahaha we all have... but yeah, seriously. the fbi decided they constitute a gang
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