Tuesday, 14 April 2015

"Recapturing its sacredness"

"Recapturing its sacredness"

(Or all after seeing the Jägermeister logo 
that made him drew and refigure, as well as other works inspired
by fusion of religious and secular art)



"Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild,
daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild,
weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört,
den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt"


- Oskar Von Riesenthal


This is the hunter’s badge of glory,

That he protect and tend his quarry,

Hunt with honour, as is due,
And through the beast to God is true.

- English translation 

These are the words this person sought in a Wikipedia article related to that work.

It is related, for the drawing featured above was based from a familiar German Apertif liquor named Jägermeister. And its logo features a glowing cross between the antlers of a stag. The logo, despite used commercially, is rather significantly religious, given the fact that the image is also a reference to the two Christian saints, Eustace and Hubertus, whom end converted to Christianity after seeing a stag having a cross in its antlers. 
However, that stag was also another symbol for San Sebastian College-Recollectos, that according to the owners, the Order of Agustinian Recollects, it symbolizes a Christian who, filled with moral ideas, runs fast to God swiftly yet quietly in pursuit of his goals.

Those meanings behind that well-known logo somehow captures this person's idea to draw that work, only be surrounded by a wreath of oak and thorns bonded by ribbons of golden yellow and dark red, tied and sealed featuring the Recollect symbol; while its background, instead of mountains and of the wild, rather features what this person sought in his sightseeings, such as the Recollect's own San Sebastian Church, Quezon Bridge, factories near Pasig, and other typical buildings surrounding, trying to capture Manila, the city "as according to what everybody sees of it": full of unrealised ideas and aspirations hidden beneath its façades, and at the same time corrupt filth that made the river murky with all the scandals exising and coming. No wonder people are continuously praying for an angel called death to end those lowlives putting them in their hardship.

To others it may appear as a form of culture jamming, for it had re-figured a logo of a well-known apertif and fuse with what this person thinks as part of it such as what had he sought such as the wreath of thorny bushes and oak leaves, with ribbons bonded, tied, and sealed featuring a symbol of a religious order; it may call it as vandalism, or even sacrilege, given that the logo has been defaced by other images such as Christian imagery alongside the Manila scene for a background, yet again what this person sees is based on what was stated above, and he just stresses the significance of those symbols, and its essence trying to inculcate in this world called "modern" yet so "decadent".

Or perhaps thinking was the herbish-alcoholic beverage and the Gothic steel church were made by those trying to please the almighty? Well, as time goes by, what the poet Von Riesenthal said in his poem seemed right, for "it is a badge of glory." 

However, this writeup is not limited to the image featured above, there are others which are rather partially inspired by religious imagery in case of an earlier drawing based from an earlier work from Iran during the "Islamic Revolution".
That somehow this person sees it as an instrument of struggle that made him draw his version. It may not be appeared sacred as the Jägermeister-inspired symbol nor the works from Iran, but the message carries as what the latter speaks of during its period.


That, instead of a Muslim pilgrim carrying a stone to be thrown against the devils, this person drew a person carrying an oil bomb ready to be thrown against the existing devils of his time. Like the original Iranian work during their "revolution", those devils are as same as theirs, be it the imperialists, corrupt bureaucrats, and its armed stooges who spread havoc in the name of order.

Admittingly speaking, having inspired by both religious and secular art and end creating a fusion of sorts would make others ridicule as such, given that religious artworks are untouchable, not liable for criticism, but to think that the Jägermeister logo was inspired by religious imagery yet used for commercial purposes it almost replaced its supposed meaning in favor of being a logo for a well known beverage; but in case of the Iranian inspired work, the artists behind those posters are capturing both secular and religious sentiment to create those works. In which this person sees it as appealing and compelling to create such as in accordance to the realities he had sought. After all, of what is struggle against repression and building a better society does not require fighting the devils and its misdeeds? Of promoting virtue and preventing injustice?