Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Crucifixion Hypercubis

This painting was created by Salvador Dali in 1954 .

Christ is done in crisp traditional realism. Christ, not bound to the cross, gives it a haunting spiritual power. The unusual cross with the floating blocks reinforces the figure of the levitating Christ. The cross is unique because it is in cubic partitions. A cubic cross is an element of geometry and higher mathematics. Euclidean three dimensional geometry dictates that a cube is only a dot in the 1st dimension, a square in the second, and exists true in three dimensions with six sides. Mathematicians and artists have spent the last few centuries figuring out what a cube would look like in the fourth dimensions. The closest they have gotten is the Hypercube. Think of eight blocks with one in the middle, touching the others on all sides. Dali’s cross uses that principle.
When you think about it, nothing 2D really exists in this world of 3D. Event a flat piece of paper has some thickness to it.( with the only exception of shadows and reflections. So if nothing 2D can exist here can anything 4D? Can 3D exist in a 4D world? Would the cube exist only as a shadow in a 4D world? Notice the cubic shadow under the cross.
Dali may have been “weird” but he wasn’t stupid. He was quite aware of these ideas. After learning the principles of the hypercube, I begin to wonder if the mortal woman below is really gazing in adoration at the Savior or trying to see behind him into the 4th dimension. There are two interpretations you can make:
1. You must make a leap of faith or have faith to see into or understand the 4th dimension. This would imply that science and math are religions unto themselves.
2. Religions get in the way of understanding math or science. That Christianity has blocked the acceptance of such ideas as Galileo’s theory that the world is NOT the center of the universe and the sun does not revolve around us. Darwin’s theory of evolution where the Genesis chapter does not have to be taken literally. Religions in general are there so we no longer need to think of such things. God takes care of it all for us and it’s none of our business anyway.
Notice how much bigger the Christ figure is than the mortal Gala. He is imposing and domineering. This can be re-assuring; or depending on your feelings of organized religion, frightening.

I’m not attempting to tell you how to feel about Christianity or this painting…. Just wanting to let you know there are different ways to look at it

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