Saturday, January 27, 2007

"The Bride" -- oil on canvas -- 48x48"-- Margie Guyot

OK, finally I'm posting a surreal piece. I don't do them often -- only when I'm inspired. This is an autobiographical rendering of my marriage. Years ago, after my divorce, I ran into an Ann Arbor psychic, who told me I should do a painting about my marriage -- that it would help in my healing process. Immediately I saw a vision of what I wanted to paint. A few weeks earlier I'd found this 50's bride doll in a garage sale. She was spooky, with eyes that fluttered wildly, like she was possessed, if you moved her at an angle.

People ask me about the flying dog heads. I bought this one out in San Jose because of its goofy face. In a way, this goofy expression reminded me of some of the men I'd known: silly, opportunistic, greedy creatures. Sorry, guys -- not all of you are like this! In this painting, the dog heads are swirling around the bride, biting her wrist (see the blood-spattered gown?), ripping roses from her bouquet and destroying her dress.

But the little bride (me!) is oblivious to this behavior, stuck in the "Barbie Doll Effect", seeing only her dream: the classic, vine-covered cottage with white picket fence, and happy little family. She does not notice the reality of her situation: the dreary trailer court, the miles of laundry on the clothesline and the erupting volcano in the background, belching streams of molten lava and black smoke. The volcano represents my ex-husband, who kept me in a state of terror for many years with his threats of suicide. I was on my tippy-toes ever since the honeymoon. Keeping a calm demeanor was a way of surviving, of avoiding hearing the suicide threats. Why not see a marriage counselor or a therapist, you ask? The family was ultra-religious, forbidding contact, claiming that "therapists are of the DEVIL!"

The shotgun blowing apart the skeleton's ribcage? That represents my ex sister-in-law's suicide shortly before my wedding. She blew herself away when presented with her philandering husband's divorce papers. Looking back, I am certain that if I hadn't left him, I would be dead now.

I did experience a relief, a closure, painting this. I wanted to post this to my blog site now because it is going to be in an exhibit at the Duderstadt Gallery in Ann Arbor, in the "Venus of Willendorf: Redefining the Goddess" show. Opening reception is February 9, 2007 from 5 - 9 PM.