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Yellowball Abstraction

A 2001 dream-drawing that I thought wasn't, by Chris Wayan.

yellow abstract design with black paths


I was just enjoying shapes and colors. Plus the contrast between the scratchiness of pen and the softness of Photoshop brushes. I dubbed it "yellow ball abstraction" for want of a better name, but the shapes nagged me. I'd seen them before. It wasn't really an abstraction, but a memory. But of what?

A few weeks later, I stepped out of the shower, glanced in the mirror, and had a tiny flashback to doing that in a dream, stepping out of a dream-shower to look in a dream mirror... But in the dream I looked quite different: I was Silky, my anima, an Asian girl with long black hair, forming long wet snakes meandering down my collarbone and breasts, in the mirror.

Awake, I have mid-length frizzy hair not long straight hair; it's brown not black.

And no breasts at all. I'm male, and skinny at that. Flat.

As I recalled the dream, I had to accept that Yellowball Abstraction isn't abstract at all--just a close-up of those wet hairsnakes on my left breast, all context trimmed away, till my nipple was the size of a sun...

I'm not the only one. I recently read that Jackson Pollock's therapist saved some sketches Pollock gave him, early versions of known paintings. He says unequivocably that the master Abstract Expressionist really started each painting by sketching monsters, all his personal demons, fighting, fucking, devouring each other, acting out all his conflicts... Then he'd disguise the shapes till the critics couldn't recognize them as his alter egos.

But under the surface paint, the monsters are there.

And so's my breast and my long black hair. My other body. My other self.

sketch of a dream, by Chris Wayan: in my bathroom mirror I see a female version of me


LISTS AND LINKS: abstract art - pure digital art - Silky, my dream self - breasts - mirrors and reflections - doubles and alter egos - I'm Just Not Myself Today! - gender-bent dreams - another artist did the same as Pollock: Alice Miller's Monster Messages

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