Ecce Homo


I know, it sounds a bit (or, ok, a lot) corny and pretentious… But Nietzsche did it. He wrote a book entitled just like that: Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is. The year was 1888, the year Vincent arrived in Arles, a decisive step in his life and work. For Nietzsche too, it was an important work (more important still since it was the last of his works composed as a (relatively) sane man – after that there were the insanity years…)

Well, Nietzsche, before he got insane, had his Ecce Homo (for those not enclined to know Latin artsy-fartsy stuff, it doesnt’t mean “Here is the homosexual” but simply “Here is the man” – words supposedly pronounced by Pilates when presenting Jesus to the crowd; a lot of religious paintings of all ages have the same title…) I had mine one early morning, the 12th of September 2005, when I draw this self-portrait. For me it is highly significant. Looking myself in the mirror I have finally understood I was an old man, a man whom will be even more older, and balder and whom will die soon enough… I did understood I will have to deal with issue like my own death and why I’ve lived for. What will I leave behind, to my children, to my family… and what should I do with the (maybe, still) remaining time on this Earth of ours…

Drawing myself I also understood, I think, that my life was to be in the past tense, mostly, from now on. I was over 50, which in the old times meant OLD, OLD AGE. I was lucky – I am lucky! – to be able, at this old age (and cut the crap with all those “Life begins at 40 or 50 etc.” stuff!) to draw and to paint, to read and to write instead of working my arse off in some dumb job, to earn money to consume. Or, as George Carlin (who just kick the bucket yesterday – or today?) very well put it: “to buy stuff they don’t need with money they don’t have”… Anyway, this is me, no Jesus, no Nietzsche and no Vincent van Gogh. Just another artist, lucky enough “to become what one is” before kicking the bucket…

Copyright Dan Iordache, 2005, 2008.

9 responses to “Ecce Homo

  1. yes, you are, no doubt…

  2. Da, Ovidiu, sunt… dar indoiala e acolo, totusi… Adevarul ca n-avem practic nici un control (sau foarte putzin) nici macar asupra prezentului nostru, ca sa nu mai vorbim de posteritate… Si Nietzsche si Van Gogh au fost, in timpul vietzii, quasi anonimi, faima le-a venit mult dupa moarte si factorii care au determinat-o au fost cu totul independentzi de vointza lor… Plus ca sunt 1 la 100000 sau mai mult. sansele sa devii cineva, chiar si post-mortem sunt foarte reduse… Presupun ca nici in literatura nu e altfel… dintre sute de catarge, nu?

  3. A really fine study of yourself, Danu. Sometimes I think about your characterization and sometimes I get lost on those bright, surprising colors. But I keep looking–it’s a great painting.

  4. Thank you, swallows.
    I’m not, usually, a early riser (?) but this one (which is in my sonderklasse category for more than one raison) was a painting (or drawing, I’m never able to separate them) I did at about 6 in the morning… I just get up, took my pen etc and went to the bathroom mirror and did it…

  5. I love your self portrait and the sentiments you write about yourself. I find myself in a similar position in life at a similar age. The realization you speak of is one I suppose we all share at some time. Congratulations on becoming “who you are” – so many of us never have that understanding and are always trying to be something else. I think Picasso said that one’s art is another form of diary – this looks like an important page in yours.

  6. Thanks, Bob. It certaily is…

    Picasso could be a mean SOB but nobody can say he wasn<t smart and a true genius… Being what one is could seem a simple task but it isn’t… You have to have gained at least some humility (or modesty, if you prefer) through your experiences in life…

  7. Bob told me all about this post of yours so I had to come see. And i do feel like I’m staring the authentic Danu in the eye. Bravo for self discovery! What could be more important in this life of ours.

  8. Glad you came, susan! No big merit for just looking relatively attentive in the mirror… though maybe you,re right and it was a small satori…

  9. Reblogged this on Van Gogh and I and commented:

    Even more significative / true now than when I’ve wrote it…I still have to actualize my self – portrait, if I will be able to muster the energy for it…

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