Leonora Carrington, “Unicorn”

Is unicorn apparition (that we are witnessing here) a result of magic powers produced by the secret yearning of a dreaming soul(s) or is it an imaginary love (hallucination) overwhelming the childish believer in unicorn’s existence squeezed in a narrow space behind the tiny window? In other words, had the unicorn come to the window by its own will and interest or is obsession with unicorn made this “erotically sublime” creature press itself to the window with the “profile of its own head”? Is unicorn a unicorn or its own sublime wonderful wandering destiny?

Carrington’s unicorn has an exotic color of expensive toy and its mane is like a playful flame, while eyes are like a dense blue sky – may be, this unicorn lives in the sky and is looking at us with gaze of the heaven. The first impression from this gently-red unicorn can be a shock from the feeling glued to seeing a creature right outside the window looking at you, as if, expecting to see your reaction, more, as if, “he” is mutely signaling something to you. His physical “inseparableness” from the window glass makes him as if, locked in there, behind the window frame, as though inside it and carrying the desire to interact with humans, as if, he wants us to… open the window. Does He, indeed, intent to tell us something? Can it be a warning? A request? We feel involved with it, we want to somehow to resolve this. We want to understand why he is there, looking at us through what separates us.

The creative twist – the intuitive decision of the painter’s unconscious is to position the unicorn’s face too close to the window. It’s as if the unicorn’s head is unnaturally close to the window which then, as if plays role of the viewers of the painting. It’s a situation when the window incarnates the human vision of the unicorn – makes us to see it much closer than if we could see it through realistic distance between the window and the unicorn behind it and our position in the room looking at the Unicorn. In other words, Carrington masterfully achieved much closer distance between us and the unicorn and through this she is satisfying our desire to see this magic creature as close as possible. By the artist’s effort the viewers have the illusion of being closer to the unicorn and take pleasure connected with such a closeness.

But together with the pleasure of our curiosity, our souls start to flame as Unicorn’s mane and forget although just momentarily about our poor or prosperous life, about our animosities or (symbiotic) friendships and our sins and death. Touching and/or kissing the unicorn through our eyesight becomes the castle of Uniform’s dreamers, at least for a time of their contact with Leonora Carrington’s painting.