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 Enigma, by Arthur Secunda
Enigma, by Arthur Secunda
  • titled: "Enigma" (lower left corner)
  • signed: "Secunda" (lower right corner)
  • medium: serigraph with nine colors and one blend printed by Jeff Davis in eleven passes, with airbrush and hand coloring by the artist
  • dimensions: image size: 25" x 17 1/2"; paper size: 30" x 22"
  • edition: 75 prints, numbered 1/75 to 75/75
  • date published: May 1994
  • print number: 94-04-075
  • published by: Pierian Press Fine Art Editions

Introduction, by C. Edward Wall

At first glance, "Enigma" appears to be a simple work consisting of two outlined figures. Through the sophisticated use of line, color modulations (e.g., ochre on ochre, blue on blue), and strong contrasts, the artist has created a powerful, symbolic work about the human spirit.

Symbolically, the amulet, an object often worn around the neck to ward off evil, represents the "feelings of the heart" - those cultural values that are so deeply ingrained that they form the very foundation of our thought processes. The wand, used for working magic, is a symbol of our wishes for the future - the destiny which we "hold in our hands" and determine by the decisions we make and the relationships we choose to build.

In "Enigma", an ugly mask is raised, revealing beauty beneath. (The human spirit is often puzzling and mysterious.) Behind a rough persona a kind heart may reside. An act of apparent altruism may be directed by ulterior motives. The outward image frequently does not reveal the spirit of the person.

The relationship between the two figures evokes multiple interpretations. On one hand, the dominant "seated" figure can be seen as suppressing an alter ego, acknowledging learned control over basal instincts and needs. On another level, the expulsion of the "shadow soul" by the central figure represents an inevitable Faustian moment - the life/death or body/soul separation that is universally experienced.

These are a few of the fundamental concepts embodied in "Enigma", a powerful artistic statement and metaphorical study which at once explores, discovers, recognizes, and, finally, celebrates the "magic" and the richness of the human spirit.

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