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Desert, Cube, Ladder, Horse, Flowers, Storm

By Retronator
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This is probably the first of my artworks that need an explanation (I haven't done much surreal works before).

To understand it, you need to play a game called The Cube, part of a Japanese psychology series Kokology.

To do so, forget for a while about this painting and see what your imagination comes up with by reading these instructions from Oliver Emberton: oliveremberton.com/2014/how-to…

When I first found Oliver's article I sketched out what I imagined. This is a finished painting of that sketch, done in ArtRage (and Photoshop for some post processing).

If you've played the game and read the results, you now know quite a bit more about me. And if you did play, please write in the comments what your desert looked like.
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anonymous's avatar
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AnAscendedSaiyan's avatar
Fascinating idea. My desert has nothing in all directions but sand dunes. The sand is a warm gold color and the sky is blue with minimal clouds, save for the line of black clouds far into the horizon.

The cube floats above a large dune, it measures about 1 1/2 feet and is solid black (my mind was going for the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey).

About 10 feet from the cube is a folded ladder standing upright. It's stands about the same height as to the top of the floating cube.

Running in the direction of the cube is a sleek white stallion carrying saddlebags with bouquets of fresh roses.

Haha, I noticed no flowers your's (that I could see), if mine had that, then I'd say this thing is accurate. The rest is pretty auccurate. My mind just kind pulled together random pop culture shit and tries to make a coherent vision.
Retronator's avatar
The flowers are kind of on the ground, but very subtle sparkles of non-desert hues. 

And I love the 2001 reference in yours! :D (Big Grin) 
IAMBORG9's avatar
I took a stab at interpreting the artists rendition of his personal mindscape....


First of all I'd say theres a high probability, 75% or higher that this person is male, and young. He's quite intelligent, in fact I'd say highly intelligent, and knows it. As a result he can be extremely arrogant . I don't think he means to be, but his ego runs the show. However, deep down he can be 'real', stable and warm, but only his friends see that side of him, which takes us to the ladder , his friends...he may feel he's above them, or that he's the star, and they're the supporting cast. He either thinks everyone puts him on a pedestal or they actually do. He likes an entourage. Inspite of his ego, he may depend on his friends for emotional support, as well. His feeling of superiority is also reflected in the scale of the ladder to the cube it supports...Its extremely skinny, and doesn't seem to scale. He may have a tendency to smirk. We all have insecurities, and in his case he hides them with a "tough guy maverick" type personna. In a relationship he may be over protective,to the point of extreme possessivness, and ownership of his partner. He may see his relationships as an extension of himself. The storm seems to be all around rather than localized. This may mean he deals with conflict, which is more like drama on a fairly regular basis or he may just THINK he does. Its the old "everyone's out to take me down" sort of thing which stems from ego. He's not a trouble maker by nature, or a fighter ,,but he may be very antagonistic.


Now, I don't know the owner of the mindscape,  and none of my interpretation is meant to be negative in any personal way.  Its simply based on what is in his or her painting based on what the symbols are supposed to be mean.  I'd be interested to know how spot on or way off it is either way......
Retronator's avatar
Thanks, I love this!LoveAs you can imagine it pleases my ego that you made a deviantART account just to post this comment. :D (Big Grin) 

You're spot on in many places, off in others (I wish my friends would think I'm a tough guy maverick, but Northern California makes you soft as that Sunscreen video says Sweating a little...). I would say I don't (actively) hide insecurities, I'm an open book. So you just ask and I can talk about anything. The ego stuff is very real though. I guess I am arrogant about my intelligence and skills. I love to learn as many things as possible and try to be at least decent if not good at a lot of them. It's my priced possession to be multi-talented, in the top of coding, good at drawing (and hopefully improving towards great), decent at sports. I am very grateful for that.

in relationships I've changed a lot. I hope I have never conveyed ownership of my dear female partners. Now, if anything, I'm the very opposite: I love when people just follow who they are. My biggest mistake in life was to try to change people. There's much more joy in just going along for the ride with them, see what they're all about and what they do with their passions. Age/experiences change you.

As for the ego, yeah, I can't hide that stuff. Meow :3 I never feel above people, but what is true is that I feel indifferent to most people (only a certain type of people make an impression on me). Maybe that's why the ladder is thin. The friends that are around me right now are all wonderful people and I enjoy spending time with them. However, I rarely develop a deep bond, it's very casual. I don't feel attached to people and it makes me uncomfortable when people rely on me, because I am the type of person that can decide to disappear on the whim. At least as far as the real world is concerned. Internet is different, the people there will always stay with me, and me with them. It's way easier to find people that do leave an impression on me (and that's a very personal, subjective thing, what draws my interest — usually it's the creative types, which are rare, at least in my real world). When I find those people, I am a total fanboy and I put so many people on a pedestal myself. It takes quite some time for me to feel we're on the same level (we're all just people) and have a normal conversation with them.

What do you think? Happy with what you got right and what's different than expected from interpretation? Of course it's hard to know someone from just one painting, but it's also amazing how much you CAN get. At least a general feeling, which you captured very well. I love Oliver's idea that this is a great conversation starter and you can then explore the differences and similarities from what the image says.

Thanks again for stopping by. Feel free to message me (send a note as it's called here) if you want to share who you are.
IAMBORG9's avatar

I see you also have a razor wit....lol..lol...when I read the first line....about making an account just to post this comment , I literally cracked up..lol ...cause  when I realized I had no choice but to make an account....I was mumbling and grumbling to myself as I created it......" fricken shoot me now!  I can't believe I have to make an account just for this....why can't people just say what they have to say and get the hell out...(.grumble..mumble)...but nooooo...I have to make an entire account, password this and profile that, pledge allegiance to the flag...yaddda yadda...(grumble)" lol.....Well lets see....I have to say, that you sound alot like me, in alot of ways which is odd because my mindscape was nothing like yours, yet alot of your traits seem to be in common with some of mine.   Yes, I think I got alot of it right, but whats different is the big ego , arrogant part. I now believe this to possibly be a misconception by others, rather than fact.  I think that one of the challenges faced by people with gifted intelligence is that because they possess a confidence, and a type of sure footed strength that comes with being highly intelligent, that confidence is often perceived as arrogance.  I've noticed they also possess a type of fearlessness that can be characterized as the tendency to constantly "go where angels fear to tread" ..to coin a phrase.  This is often misread as 'ego'. By "going where angels fear to tread" I don't mean they go around challenging everyone to a "shoot out" at dawn, ...I mean they often take on projects, or face problems that others won't.  If something needs fixing, they fix it, and face all the obstacles in their way along the way, defeating them.  They're never afraid to take on the Alpha role as leader, or the responsibility of being accountable that goes along with it. It should be noted at this point that it is only those who may not be as intellectually gifted that will interpret confidence, strength and fearlessness as arrogance and ego.  I have often seen intelligent people remain quiet even when they have the answers, or attempt to 'dumb' themselves down in order to avoid the 'wrath' of the 'average or below average intelligence'. Those that refuse to do that often find themselves maligned by the insecure and the less endowed minds around them.    Reading your reply above, I see someone who is open, and quite self aware.  It takes an inner security and strength to be able to be self aware in the first place.  I think you're a hell of alot stronger than you give yourself credit for, and living in California has nothing to do with strength ...or lack there of.....if weather were strength, I'd be Godzilla, since I'm Canadian, and have lived in some pretty inhospitable climates in my life....lol..lol. and still do.    With reference to you "going along for the ride" where relationships and people are concerned....I can see that when I take another look at your mindscape.   Something significant about the horse that I see on giving it another look is that its in motion.  The horse, though enveloped by the cube, which signifies you,  appears to be galloping, rather than standing still.  In order for the cube to remain around the horse, and for the horse to remain within the cube, the cube must logically follow the horse where it goes.   Interpreting the picture having only the symbolic meanings to go by, it didn't immediately occur to me that the horse was in a perpetual gallop, or that there was any significance in that.  Its not until speaking to you and hearing your current view on relationships and "going with the flow" where ever it leads, does it occur to me as the interpreter that this is indeed reflected in your mindscape.     Overall, I'd have to say I was impressed with the character and openess you put forth.  

Retronator's avatar
Well, now that you have an account and all, you could try posting some art. :painter: DeviantArt is a pretty nice place, maybe put some roots down. :D (Big Grin) 

How did you find this painting in the first place, if you don't mind me asking?
IAMBORG9's avatar
On LINKEDIN...
plafortune's avatar
My desert was more like a beach with an ocean. I saw a large transparent cube, big enought to fit many, sitting on the sand, heavy and sturdy tall wood ladder, leaning on the cube, Beautiful and strong-built dark brown horse, standing to the right of the cube a few feet away looking at the cube. Tornado is off in the distance with dark clouds and rainbows; far enought not to be a concern with the sunny and blue sky with some beautiful white clouds.
Retronator's avatar
Nice! You should draw it. :D (Big Grin) Nod 
eukaryotical's avatar
Retronator's avatar
Yay, VinhDee is on DEVIANT!!! :happybounce: Clap I am a dummy!  party, party in here!!!
Localized's avatar
Looks like you've got quite the ego there! : P

I played the game and here's what I got;

(while reading I actually imagined the desert during both the day and night)
- The desert was composed of moderately large orange sand dunes. During the night it would appear as a soft blue/purple colour illuminated by the moon.
- In a small valley is the cube. It's about 10feet across and hovers above the ground about 5 feet. It is a dark black material that glows white during the night.
- To the right of the cube is a 7 foot or so aluminum step ladder. The top of the ladder reaches about halfway up the cube, but the ladder does not touch the cube.
- In the shade of the cube to the left lies a strong black horse.
- As for the flowers if it said I could imagine none if I wanted to I would've as the flowers in my mind looked awkward there no matter how I pictured them. (this is the most accurate since I don't want children)
- In the distance near the horizon is a thunderstorm. The occasional low rumble of thunder can be heard in the distance.
Retronator's avatar
Niiiice! I love how different results people get. Thanks for playing. :)
anonymous's avatar
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