Mär Martinez

The Beinoni has both evil (yetzer hara) and divine (yetzer tov) influences but struggles with his or her animal impulses to allow the divine soul to have control. The Beinoni must allow his or her divine soul to suppress the enactment of evil desires and chooses instead to pursue righteousness through one’s actions. This intentional effort is a continuous struggle that can be depicted through the fighting dogs: the constant grappling for power remains under the facade.

The tangled bodies reference an ouroboros, as this struggle for power continues throughout life. I used feverish variations of cool and warm tones to evoke the expressive nature of this struggle. The hand-cutting of the piece is crucial to my process, it is an intentional act of separation and removes the piece from the context of a canvas. The fight between the powerful forces becomes centralized in its own space and reflects the disembodied nature of the spiritual fight for dominance.

The struggle for dominance hopes to bring oneself closer to the divine and to release the authority of the nefesh habehamit. Such a release requires vigilance, resilience and dedication. Every action and thought either edifies the divine or feeds the animal soul. Although it is not as outwardly violent as the literal struggle depicted in the piece, it is a continuing spiritual battle to bring our experience closer to righteousness.

Header Image Design by Orly Zebak. Artwork by Mär Martinez.
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