Gainguin, helping me reconicle my masculine and feminine sides

I friend called me out of the blue yesterday. She had 2 free tickets to Gainguin’s “Maker of Myth’s” exhibition at the Tate Modern. I couldn’t say no.

Gainguin is one of the world’s most famous artists from Post-Impressionist period and it’s the first time his work has been showcased in the UK in over 50 years. How could anyone say no?

In one of Gainguin’s famous letters to Vincent Van Gough he said:

‘In art, truth is what a person feels in a state of mind he happens to be in”

So when I stared at the painting below (my favourite out of all the paintings) I couldn’t help but be aware of my feelings and state of mind. My thoughts and feelings revealed much of what’s going on in my psyche and became a window to my soul.

At first I looked at her breasts (it’s only natural!) then I was captured by the exquisite beauty of the girl’s face on the right. Then I noticed how masculine the girl on the left looked against her. I couldn’t look at the girl on the left anymore and continued to stare at the girl on the right.

To me it was obvious. Both women represented different parts of me. One the masculine and the other the feminine. I liked and admired the feminine woman more. I wanted to be her (which implies I don’t feel like ‘I am’ her). I took this insight as the feminine side of me wanting to express itself and be known. Cool, I thought … I’m up for that.

I continued to discount the girl on the left because I didn’t like the way she looked and I didn’t like the way I felt when I looked at her. No biggie really.

It wasn’t until I went home that I noticed how sad the girl on the left looked (I was looking at a postcard). I google’d the image and I looked at her eyes. They were sad, hurt, tired … yet so beautiful at the same time (the feminine girl on the right almost disappeared).

It made me wonder, what state of mind am I in to a) want to initially ignore the girl on the left and then b) what part of me do I not want to own?

Truth is I feel masculine like the girl on the left every day. And every second day I wish I was the girl on the right.

Given I write this blog you might find it hard to believe but I find it easier to be masculine than feminine. It’s easier for me to be aggressive than it is for me to be vulnerable. It’s easier for me to be direct and ask for what I want than it is for me to be sweet and smiley about it.

I’ve been aware of this strong masculine side for a long time and there is a sadness that comes to me when I think about it (it’s probably what drives my career). I wish I could be more feminine, more sensual, more beautiful, more exotic. Her eyes convey my emotions and how I feel. I wish things were different but this who I am and how I’m built. With sadness, I accept the masculine side of me is stronger than my feminine and I’m actually ok with that (interesting that I think sadness is ok?).

Anyway the crazy thing is, this painting has started to flip my associations with the feminine and masculine:

  1. The masculine female is also exquisite. I wanted to ignore her initially because she represented the part of me that I hate (my masculine side) but … the more I look at her now, the more I see depth, love, devotion, sadness and inner power. It’s her strength which builds families and leads villages. She is purposeful and powerful. And her sadness is me not being grateful for her.
  2. My feminine side is always standing strong next to the masculine. She’s an equal part of me and all I have to do is listen to her. She’s always whispering in my ear. My longing to be her is not necessary because I already am her.

Anyway, I couldn’t stop thinking about this painting last night. I’m sure if I look at it again in a month, a year … or even a week from now I’ll feel and see something very different. As my state of mind changes, so does my perception and interpretation.

If you want to see more of Gainguin’s work, the exhibition is on until 16th January. And there is an awesome video about him on this link. Enjoy!


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