Temple of love

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To make this work, I was inspired by The Gate of Kiss (Poarta Sărutului), a sculpture finished in 1938 by Constantin Brâncuși. The sculpture is a part of the sculptural ensemble made by Constantin Brâncuși in Târgu-Jiu, Romania.

In the image, the temple is placed on a large plateau. The overall composition is symmetrical and dominated by warm colors. In the center of the composition, we see a very big door, the entrance of the temple. The door is made of vertically aligned lips painted in an intense red color. The orientation of the lips is intended to remind viewers of the female sexual organs, more specifically, the labias. With this symbol, I emphasize sex, the sexual drive that animates people through-out their life, or at least, in the first stages of romantic relationships.

An old man is climbing the big stairs of the plateau. Some aged people still have an interest in love or making love, and are willing to make efforts for it, to climb, metaphorically. Through-out our existence we strive to reach to, or to keep living, in a "the temple of love". Not all people are able to reach such a temple, because as indicated in the painting, it takes efforts to reach to it.

The disproportion between the man and the door of temple highlights how important and valuable such a temple might be. People are in a constant search for love, all their life. People need to feel loved. We can experience love in numerous forms as children or adults, or as parents, friends or lovers. However, in the painting I highlight how important romantic love is. The sheer size of the temple can also suggest how much some men idealize women.

In adulthood, on a personal level, it is a major part of the human condition to acknowlegede and experience his or her own sexual desires. People need to cross this metaphorical door as well. This helps to properly develop into adulthood, to have an understanding of what sexuality means and its implications, what is the role of engaging intimately with another human being, beyond procreation and sheer pleasure.

At birth, people cross a metaphoric door. From the short life in the womb to the much longer life after birth. It can be argued at a metaphorical level, that babies actually cross a door at birth. The large and small lips (labia majora and labia minora) make-up the entrance/exit of the vagina. Generally, people make babies out of love, they are the result of the love of two people. If we consider for a moment the biological "door" constituted of the labias, as a door of a temple, then we can say that we all came out of "the temple of love". The origin of life is love. The lips have an essential role for human kind. Through the lips of the oral cavity, we feed and we sustain ourselves, and we speak, we kiss, we nurture goodness, we instill in others love and worthiness, we communicate and share our love through words. Through the lips of the vagina, human life is perpetuated, and along with this, our unmatched capacity to love.

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