Symbols in Art: The Hidden Keys to Love, Balance and Renewal

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9780972654920: Symbols in Art: The Hidden Keys to Love, Balance and Renewal

Discover Deeper Meaning in Art and Expand Your Understanding of Life

For many, art provides a satisfying and stimulating aesthetic experience. Symbols in Art reveals that there is even more. It tells how the hidden communications in art provide insights into life in ways that can become deeply personal and rewarding. And it shows how to access them.

The underlying message of this book is that the essence of life is joy, and joy is found through love, balance and renewal. This thesis is demonstrated in numerous full-color plates of Symbolic masterworks and accompanying explanations. It is substantiated with a clear, simple eloquence.

Each two-page spread is a complete and whole thought, a stepping stone to awareness and the appreciation of images and the stories behind them—both in the paintings of classical Symbolic artists and in the author's own contemporary Symbolic works. Whether the book is read from cover to cover or opened to any page, the eye is delighted, emotions are activated, the mind is engaged on all its levels and the spirit soars. Its thoughtful insights are experienced as much as they are seen and comprehended.

Just what does the book propose?

That symbols are the universal language of the unseen in art.
That stories represent a rich portion of the meaning of visual art.
That Symbolism is a vital artistic expression during troubled times and that Symbolic art heralds the message of inspiration and hope.

Symbols in Art provides a fascinating exploration into the meanings of symbols and provides keys for unlocking their real messages. It expands our awareness of love, balance and light in our lives and it directs us to visions of a brighter future. It does all this and more with beauty, style, intelligence, and elegance.

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About the Author:

Belgian-born Serge Polakoff is a contemporary Symbolic artist and a widely traveled lecturer on the topic of Symbolic art. He has earned degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Brussels, and Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Studying with masters on two continents, his additional academic pursuits range from Astrology to Feng Shui. He has written books on both subjects and presented corresponding lectures and workshops in the United States, Europe and China.

After creating a highly successful career in real estate development, with substantial accomplishments throughout Europe and in the US, he was drawn to Jungian psychology and to art. He is a pioneer in the field of digital fine art, a new genre in the art community that is quickly gaining widespread recognition and respect.

Serge Polakoff divides his time between Longboat Key, Florida and Santa Monica, California. Though he maintains a busy schedule of speaking, painting, art exhibitions, and writing, he considers his greatest accomplishment his three adult children.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

FOREWORD - Why this Book?

This book is a synthesis of universal symbols, symbolic paintings, and my own creative journey. Art symbols always add the magic of the unseen beyond the visible image. I was initially drawn to this magic and continue to explore its nuances and intricacies.

My artistic journey started in 1993, but it wasn’t until 2001 that I decided to show my work in public. After several exhibitions, I was puzzled by the audience reaction. I heard diverse qualifiers about the content of my work, such as symbolist, alchemical, archetypal as well as cerebral, non-emotional, and conceptual. The form of my work was referred to as graphic, geometric, minimalist, narrative and digital. While some of these words are directly associated with art movements like Symbolism, Minimalism, Narrative Art and Computer Art, other movements were also mentioned such as Color Field Art, Op Art, and Appropriation Art. Did my work belong to any of them, some of them, or all of them, and therefore was it heading towards a new direction in art?

While I could relate to all of these words, some resonated more than others. For years, in order not to be influenced by other artwork, I had deliberately chosen neither to read art history books or meet other artists, nor to visit museums or art exhibitions. When I felt I had a solid expressive foundation, I decided to lift that self-imposed restriction and have since absorbed as much knowledge as I could from the masters and their works. I have read wonderful authors in the field of art, however I want to inform the reader from the outset that I don’t have any authority or ambition as an art historian. Abundantly illustrated with works of art, this book is mainly about my personal artistic journey and how it can serve as a road map for others for whom creativity, self-expression and a new world culture are paramount.

During the quest for an identity in the soup of genres and movements, I found that Symbolism was the most meaningful qualifier for my art. All of the other terms had merit too, but because the Symbolist art trend peaked during the last decade of the 19th century, I wondered where my work would fit into the 21st century world of art.

In doing research for this book. I realized that Symbolism is more a state of mind than an art movement; it generally appears as a reaction to an entrenched cultural belief system. In the same way that the Renaissance was a reaction against religious imagery, the Symbolist trend of the 19th century was a reaction to realist imagery and mechanistic constructs of science and industry. It is my belief that today’s Symbolism is a reaction to 20th century emotional artistic excesses, and reflects a longing for a more humane, holistic and spiritual society.

The 20th century was marked by emotionally expressive "art for art’s sake" that often thwarted cognitive interpretations, leaving the viewer to react subjectively to the work. In the beginning of the century, the field of subjective expression exploded, offering a multitude of creative possibilities. Originality was everywhere; a multiplicity of "-ism" movements emerged. Today, the desire for originality and instigation in visual art has forced an escalation of emotional provocation to the extreme of creating inhumane images of dysfunction, mutilation and even self-destruction. But, while art that points to the need for social, political, and psycho-spiritual change can be culturally empowering, the time has come to balance those excesses. By offering messages of love, renewal and balance — beyond the visible image — symbols add a poignant aspect to the art, with the artist marrying intellectual meaning to emotive expression. Symbolist art stimulates both the rational and the intuitive spheres of the viewer’s brain, thereby announcing the evolution of a more holistic, more humanistic world.

Art always reflects the culture and spirit of a society. Symbolist art often appears when a decadent society is hoping for renewal. To presage better days, Symbolist artists have rooted their hope in the language of visual metaphors. As a contemporary Symbolist at the dawn of a troubled 21st century, I too embrace the mission to bring hope for a better tomorrow. I would hope my work and the work of those before me will help the viewer gain a more serene outlook for the future, and that this book will attract other contemporary Symbolist artists to help me in forming a union of messengers for a more harmonious world.

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