The Jung Center of Houston will be exhibiting a show of paintings called Metamorphic Torsos by the Houston-based, Bolivian-American painter Becky Soria. Included are 23 semi-abstract oil and acrylic paintings centering on the theme of woman’s torsos, not as sexualized objects, but as organic expressions of how life inscribes itself on the female physiognomy. Metamorphic Torsos will be open to the public from January 3, 2007 until January 30, 2007. Soria’s work have a strong affinity with the insights of Carl Jung on the human psyche and the human shadow. Becky Soria has been a Premiere Portfolio Artist at absolutearts.com since 2002.
On the torso aspect of the images.
The back of the body is always the promise of a front, but in my work it is a front that never arrives. The mind approaches the world with its preconceptions, - can it see the back without somewhere unconsciously presuming the front --- no --- so what front is presumed?
Is there a person represented by a back such as this, is it somebody's back?
Is it Woman rejecting being taken as a sexual object?
The back is a symbol of rejection, of turning one's back on the viewer, of looking away, but it also represents looking in the same direction as the viewer, looking at the same thing, in the distance.
The back for beasts of burden carries the material weight of the world, but for humans, the back carries the weight of the worry, the stress, the pressure, the fear, the grief, and its physiogomy tells the tale (tail) of the person's life.
And the back can symbolize the shadow as Jung observed,
Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries. Only monkeys parade with it. (The Integration of the Personality. (1939)).
On the the abstract aspect of the images
Burying into the inchoate place where images manifest, and pure light plays against color and form, I paint my abstract images. But these abstract images many times are on the border of meaning, at the place which allows projection of content from the shadow. As Jung observes,
Projections change the world into the replica of one's own unknown face. (Aion (1955). CW 14: P.17)
Filling the conscious mind with ideal conceptions is a characteristic of Western theosophy, but not the confrontation with the shadow and the world of darkness. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. ("The Philosophical Tree" (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335)
On the collage aspect of some of the images
A collage is a beautiful medium to allow the play of ideas as images to play against each other, to conflict, to balance, to unify, and to fracture. It is the post-modern condition to be a dynamic and unstable equilibrium of ideas about the self and the world, where the "real world", if there is such a thing, is lost beneath the cascade of conflicting images purporting to represent it. And did not Jung point us towards this as well,
The individual ego could be conceived as the commander of a small army in the struggle with his environments war not infrequently on two fronts, before him the struggle for existence, in the rear the struggle against his own rebellious instinctual nature. Even to those of us who are not pessimists our existence feels more like a struggle than anything else. The state of peace is a desideratum, and when a man has found peace with himself and the world it is indeed a noteworthy event. ("Analytical Psychology and Weltanschauung" (1928) In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.693 )
View more of Beck Soria's work at http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/b/beckyart/.
Year Created: 2003
Medium: Oil Painting
Width: 36 inches
Height: 60 inches
Depth: 2 inches
Price: US$ 1000