Equilibriste 1992

Painting and wire on canvas by Victor Gordon
Oil on canvas with attached wire
50.2 x 60.4 cm

This image was painted at the time of my concerns with artist’s manikins and is derived from an ex-shop window display. As with the manikins it is not gender specific and simply conveys an image of a human form. I have floated it high compositionally to establish an anti-gravitational visual tension and this balancing is referenced in the title. The figure has been compositionally balanced by the addition of a circle of numbers from one through to twenty, a readymade translocated from a gaming dartboard. This cohering superimposed dimensional device over the floating figure reveals the number 18 positioned at 11 o’clock in the most readable position. While not specifically making a reference to the Hebrew Gematria* the numbers’ presence are somewhat enigmatic.

* 18 is extensively found in Jewish texts, notably in those associated with the Kabbalah. The best-known example of Gematria is the Hebrew word Chai (“life”), which is composed of two letters which using the assignments in the Mispar gadol add up to 18. This has made 18 a “lucky number” among Jews, and gifts in multiples of 18 are very common among Jews.

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