Friday, November 22, 2013

My Chelsea art hat: Daniel Gauss

{{{click on images to enlarge them}}}

Here comes a self-serving post. :P

Two years ago, for the first big opening night of the Chelsea gallery season, I decided to make a goofy art hat just to get into the spirit of an opening night.  Now I tend to wear this hat whenever I go to the galleries and people invariably ask me what it means. Believe it or not, it has a meaning. :P

As you can see, right in the middle of the hat is a roulette wheel with a silver 'cross.'  Well before the Christian religion was established, the cross was a very symbolic object to many pre-Christian cultures.  The cross seemed to represent a tree.  The horizontal line represented the division between the areas above the earth and below the earth and the vertical lines represented the roots under the earth and the trunk above the earth.  The tree is a type of bridge between the earth and the sky.

So basically everything under the silver horizontal line on my hat can represent our 'animal' or 'earthly' nature.  I also joke with people and say everything above the line represents our spiritual nature.  Above the horizontal line I have a little doll with wings that I bought from a dollar store in Woodside Queens. Under the silver line I have a plastic snake, a couple large round 'seeds' I found on the ground in Queens and some dice.  People say, "Dice? Why dice?" and I say, "Because the operations of nature are so random." 

I also have another interpretation.  Looking at the snake, the dry seeds, the dice, the roulette wheel, people often guess the hat represents a type of Las Vegas theme.  So I say that another interpretation is that the bottom part of the hat represents a 'spiritual desert.'  I then say, "The hat means that if you are ever lost in a spiritual desert, the only way to escape is to.......gamble!  You have to take risks that you never thought you'd be able to take!"  People seem to like this interpretation more.

In fact, I like the interpretation more, too.  With this interpretation my hat is continually imploring people to take risks and to escape from spiritual deserts.  How laudable of me! :P :P :P  Maybe I should try to take my own advice one day. :P

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