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Jeffrey Batchelor's Surreal World: Chess, Puppets & Hourglass
Jeffrey Batchelor's Surreal World: Chess, Puppets & Hourglass
Jeffrey Batchelor's Surreal World: Chess, Puppets & Hourglass

The interpretation of the painting of surrealist artists is like the interpretation of dreams: an exciting and somewhat ungrateful occupation, because any work of art is inexhaustible and you cannot describe everything. Jeffrey Batchelor's paintings are about time slipping through the fingers (a repeating element in the master's works - an hourglass with a knocked out bottom), love concealing contradictions, the fate of a puppet artist and people who are waiting for someone to solve their problems, whether it is an antique god from a car or a folkloric prince on a white horse.

Knight Watch

The chess in this picture symbolizes the fact that our every day is a battle, a war disguised as a game. The sleeping heroine of the surreal canvas is on a huge chessboard. There is a crown next to her, which means that the girl is not an outsider, but also a part of the party. On the left, in the haze, a grayish figure of a king is seen. This is a metaphor for love, which dazzled the eyes of the heroine, so that now it is impossible to discern whether this king is black or white. And even more so, you can't understand in any way whether he threatens the white queen or, on the contrary, plays with her at the same time. Unable to distinguish the "color" of the king, the girl does not know what to do: defend or attack him.

The surreal world of Jeffrey Batchelor: "Knight Watch"

Another surreal symbol that is significant for us is the broken clock. Sand is poured out of a glass vessel, which means that time disappears without a trace, and it can no longer be returned. This clock informs the white queen that it is time, long overdue, to make a decision and finally make a move.

The title of the piece - "Knight Watch" - contains a play on words. The author refers us to Rembrandt's monumental painting "Night Watch". Thus, the title of the picture hints at long sleepless nights, when the problems and experiences accumulated during the day do not let us go, swirl in the dark and remind us that time flows like sand through our fingers, and we need to act, take responsibility. However, like the heroine of this picture, we are waiting for someone on a white horse (knight in English is both a knight and a chess knight) who will decide everything for us. But the morning is drawing near, and the knight is still gone.

"Deus Ex Machina" ("God from the machine")

This surreal work is an allegory of the creator's life and in many ways a self-portrait of Jeffrey Batchelor. In the center of the picture is the artist holding a palette and canvas in front of him. This man is a born painter, because even his fingers end in brushes. Blindfolded means that the artist prefers to gaze into himself, rather than gaze at the world around him. He is looking for himself. He is closed and can hardly move in the space of the picture allotted to him. His ivory tower, into which geniuses and lower creative ranks voluntarily leave, turns out to be closer than a cage.

Jeffrey Batchelor's Surreal World: Deus Ex Machina

The allegorical figure on the right with contempt on his face is Money. For two canvases, the character gives the artist only one coin, but what a! Jeffrey Batchelor claims that "XXX" is engraved on the abject metal. This means that for thirty pieces of silver, just like Judas, the artist sells - and betrays - his soul.

The character on the left is Time. Clothes adorned with a clock, a dial instead of a hat (or a halo?), And in the hands - the symbol of irretrievably flowing time, already familiar to us from the Knight's Watch - an hourglass with a knocked-out bottom.

Angel Above the Artist's Head - Inspiration.The best that a creative person can do is to become a puppet in the hands of Providence, which gives her the ability to create beauty. Squeezed between the inexorable Time and Money, the master becomes himself and finds freedom only in the moments of the greatest submission to God. But not to God from the car, to which the title of the picture refers us. He, and it is true, could have solved all the contradictions by his appearance alone, but the problem is that he remained forever in the ancient Greek theater, and he has no way to enter the surrealistic universe.

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