When Everyday Life Becomes Self-Glorification – When People Dream To Become Coupled


Francis Picabia, “Venus and Adonis”

What’s happening with two human beings – Jeanne and Jean or Heather and Bill or for that matter Katia and Victor, when they publicly celebrate their reciprocal love – when they turn into Venus and Adonis? How to describe this magic transformation from being just prosaic, social success calculating, depressed or money-hooked into togetherness of erotic excitement? How to understand this incredible energy making a woman and a man, as if, euphorically superhuman? Is it irresistible for a couple to go out late evening for a celebrative event, especially if they met recently and have a project of eternal togetherness?

The metonymies which can help us describe a couple’s transformation from humans to stars can be the appearance in them of a particular – maniacally cheerful mannerism of social behavior plus tendency to overdress and over perfume themselves and an artificial, let’s say – too loud or too playful talking and laughing. Even their skin becomes lit by, as if multicolored garlands that embellish Christmas trees. In short, when people are exposing-and-expanding themselves to celebrate their intimacy amidst mass crowding in order to publicly enjoy their privacy (to look at themselves through the admiring public eyes), their inspiration is enriched by a kind of… monstrosity of Being, as if they are irradiating light.

When regular – normal people became Venus and Adonis they after a certain point start to beam with… a primitive, almost animalistic spirit of predatory, even rapacious euphoria. It is at this point Francis Picabia gets them into butterfly net of his creative imagination. The eroticism of solemn bravado erupting from the volcano of togetherness becomes mixed with excess of narcissistic megalomania when two fresh sexual partners who appropriated the super-energy, as if advertise their insatiability and happiness with one another. These what Picabia’s couples erotically imposing themselves on people around are all about. They, as if are flying up by the power of their own wind.

Let’s look at Venus and Adonis again. Their kiss is like that of two snakes – one with a masculine dark, and another with feminine red lips. And her soul trembles like a flying mouse we see on her cheek. The double-pupil of the man’s left eye (for this occasion of being Adonis for Venus he must have four pupils with hypnotizing power) participates in transforming woman’s gaze into the flat mask. And look at their mutual embrace – the man is embracing woman into locking her body. The woman – his head. He appropriates her flesh itself, she – his mind.

The couple is covered by the glitter of shining dust of confetti and flying artificial flowers. Of course, it is the carnival’s crew cares for this aspect of celebration, but what if it’s our couple – Venus and Adonis who irradiates this multicolored dusts as the natural atmosphere of their love with bodily heat of immanent eroticism belonging to the members of our human race?


Francis Picabia, Mardi Grass Le Basier