Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Pre-Birth Self-Portrait #1

By Ramone (pre-birth) - September 17-18, 1997

I began to take an art course at Montgomery Community College, "Drawing I", and was taught by a wonderful professor named Mark Rooney (Mark, if you're reading this, email me!). He first began to teach us by having us loosen up and break what we thought "drawing" was. We used "gesture" style which has many lines and is not focused on outlining at all. Not as concerned with detail, gesture-style attempts to see the forest instead of the trees, so to speak.

For our first homework assignment, he told us to draw two pictures. The first picture was to be a self-portrait in our likeness. We could do it in front of a mirror or from a photograph. I chose to do it from a photograph, and I began a trend of "modifying" the picture with some extra element... in other words, I couldn't just "do" the assignment; I had to add my own little twist or something extra to it! In part it was from a desire for attention, and in part it was from pride. But in this case, there was more to it. Here is the original picture:

The "extra addition" to this picture is obvious. I didn't do it to potray myself as "devil-boy", but rather in a kind of egotistial way by alluding to Michelangelo's Moses. Because of a Latin Vulgate mistranslation, Michelangelo had Moses "growing horns" instead of "radiating light". It's naturally shocking to today's viewer to see Moses -- with horns! In my own way, I was doing something clever that made myself seem "great", like Moses or Michelangelo.

But the psychological obvious can't be ignored. I thought it clever, but truly, how can someone depict himself with horns? How could I make such a self-portrait that degraded myself unless in some way it was how I actually did see myself?

I didn't fully consciously recognize it, but I was using my cleverness and newfound skill to express how my innermost heart was feeling about myself. I used the clever "horns" because I actually could not draw a picture of myself without doing something to it to make it more funny or deep. Drawing just me felt too embarassing or egotistical -- almost like a sexual egotisticalness or narcissim. I was beginning to cry out for help, but I didn't know it. Inside I did feel like this. I did feel like I was bad, like something was wrong with me.

Last night in the bath as I remembered this picture, God redeemed it. He told me that just as Michelangelo made a mistake when he made Moses with horns, so too I had made a mistake. Because of the Latin Vulgate translation error, Moses had the wrong image of Moses. Because I did not know Jesus and had not been given the gospel of life in His Son, I too had the wrong image of myself! I could not and did not see how Jesus sees me.

Minus the horns, it's a good picture! Thank You, Jesus! Thank You for the gift of being able to do this, and thank You for taking my "horns" away! Thank You for correcting my misunderstanding about myself, Jesus! And thank You that in You I am radiant!

P.S. Thanks to Leila "Shelah" Dali for photoshop-ing the horns out for me!! (^_^)

Next: Pre-Birth Self-Portrait #2

In the series of KimPachi sensei, he said, self-portrait is a way to know ourselves. When we draw a self-portrait, often as we finish, we will realize something that we have not notice before. It's like seeing ourselves in another angle, a fresh new perspective.

I'm glad that you were saved! And you found the light, and you grab hold the hand! God bless you!

For me, I had been a great sinner who had rejected God in my youth days. Your arts reminded me about my first love for Christ. Thank you.

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Be blessed in His heart today! His heart is for you!

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