To Thine Own Self

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, in the “weighing of the heart” scene, the deceased stands on trial before Osiris and the rest of the gods while Thoth (the Ibis-headed god) pleads his case before the court while his heart is weighed against Ma’at’s Feather of Truth. If his heart weighs less than the feather then he was a good man and is allowed to pass into the afterlife. If his heart is heavy w/sin, then it is tossed to the Devourer, a Chimera-like creature and eaten and he’s doomed to an eternity in darkness, unable to pass on.

Similarly, the butterflies represent how fleeting beauty is, how everyone’s doomed to wrinkles and grey hair and, following the ancient Greek tradition, a representation of the soul (“eyes are the window to the soul”), or the true person hidden behind the make up/plastic surgery.

Long story short, I used the idea of the mirror, Ma’at, and cracks in the facade to represent admitting one’s faults and embracing your little quirks and imperfections while the butterflies represent a person’s true self and how fleeting beauty is.

digital collage, 2009

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