Most people – meaning the people I’ve shown my work to; it’s not like I’m famous or anything- refer to this painting as “the sleeping girl“. They’ve told me that she seems so peaceful, enraptured in a serene dream, and that the whole piece has a sensual but relaxed touch.
Well, blatantly, of course it does because she is masturbating. Maybe the “Lonely Hands” title didn’t give it away like I thought it would. Maybe people aren’t comfortable telling me that she looks like she is being a bit naughty. I don’t know. Maybe it isn’t politically correct to say that I painted a masturbating image and that it is the one that people usually like the most.
I like that she seems to be innocently sleeping. I like that she has a serious focused expression. And most importantly, I like that she doesn’t seem to be enjoying herself, like it was a procedure she has to follow in order to keep going, to help her go through her tragedy. Masturbation isn’t necessarily a pleasurable act when done for the wrong reasons and in the wrong time. It could be used to fill a void, to reminisce or even elude something.
Pleasure has its dangers. When we’re weak and lonely, when we have no faith and no motivation to go on with whatever we once believed in. When we’ve been betrayed, lied to, played with and when we’ve had what seems like the entire world treading on us, we turn to whatever makes us feel better. We turn to whatever – or whoever- can release us from our misfortune, even if it is for a couple of seconds. Like addicts, we numb ourselves.
Mastubation (sex) is just another way of getting those few seconds of heaven.