A New Venus
The Botticelli masterpiece, The Birth of Venus, uses a traditional composition of Christ’s Baptism for its basic structure. Venus stands in the place of Christ as a fully formed woman born from the castrated genitals of Uranus that were cast into the sea. She floats ashore on a shell and lands at Paphos in Cyprus. At least, according to an early myth of her origin.
Venus presided over love and fertility, and Florentine Humanists viewed Venus as an emblem of sacred love.
In her time, the 15th century, she would’ve been seen as a higher realm of divine love manifesting in human form.
In 2021, this is how we view the pregnant woman. She is lifted up to a higher realm, almost a symbol of worship. We are meant to admire her, much like in Botticelli’s painting. A mother’s love is mythic.
How then, can we so easily abandon her the moment her child is born?
If she is sacred while life grows inside her womb, she is alone upon it’s exit. A revolving Venus forgotten by the masses.
A woman is a sacred shell that births the world. A world that cares little for her desires, but places great desires upon her.
The new life forming inside her body will be given a voice to silence her own, even before it is born into the sea of billions already competing to be heard.
As I placed my painting on some lantana to be photographed, the one of a woman holding her child alone on the shell that brought her into existence, two pink flowers dropped down to her body as if to comfort her — you are not alone.
And you are not alone. You matter. I see you. You have the right to own your body. It is yours.