According to his DeviantArt profile, Crilleb50 a.k.a Christer Borgquist considers himself a hobbyist and yet there's no lack of professionalism when it comes to the finished product. Ever the opportunist, I figured it would be a good idea to look at the concept of the invisible man because I couldn't decide which of these three pictures I liked best; they all deal with slightly different variations of the 'missing self'.
Wish You Were Here was an image which resonated strongly with me a couple of years ago when I found myself in an online relationship with someone living three thousand miles away. Long distance relationships can provoke a curious blend of feelings which go from one extreme to another - desolation and abandonment are not uncommon emotions among the geographically separated. The romantically inclined can often make the most of the separation by turning it into a mythical quest, but those types usually need art and music to reinforce their vision. The room (pictured above) is an easy reference point for those who feel life itself is empty without the presence of a certain someone. If we can transform the hours spent hankering and lamenting into something practical then much can be achieved with this particular kind of wish you were here. For others who relate to this image, it could be a more severe form of loss, such as experiencing intense grief from losing a partner. The room itself looks as though it was abandoned long ago, so I'm inclined to think any internal provocation from this image can also relate to someone from the past for some. There's the impression of only one person here, and even then, we have just a jacket which suggests a person. Is the invisible person the one who is doing the wishing, or the one who is wished for? If it's the one being wished for, where is the one doing the wishing? I see the light on the other side of that window as people, and there's more than one...I'm quick to assume the viewer is on my side of the image, the one which looks into the room which puts the window at the farthest point away. But, what if the one doing the wishing is behind the window?
Hide and Seek is a little more quirky as there is some confusion as to just how human the figure is. The suit suggests male, and one who is financially succeeding at that. Apart from his missing head, he looks well groomed, and this could be an indication of someone who enjoys an above average level of social status. The hands are monstrous, zombie-like. Does this suggest that whatever he is doing with his hands is somehow out of sync with what others would regard as human? The body, a little on the thin side; is there a lack of nourishment? The cogs on the floor are suggestive of mechanical movement. Put simply; gears are used to transfer speed or force from one part another. The balloon could be attached to his arm, or floating behind; I can't be sure. The balloon can be symbolic of a fragile state because it could burst at any minute. We can fill balloons with gas or liquid, but nothing solid, as soon as they burst the contents will disperse quickly. Traditionally speaking, balloons can represent the lesson of letting go. They're often released to mark a celebratory transition such as weddings and funerals, and they're also popular at birthday parties. Outside the window, all looks fine to me. If anything it looks completely normal. Esoterically speaking, trees can be a source of wisdom, and here there could be a suggestion of finding wisdom outside of the home or self. The trees are behind him, so there may be a need to 'look back' so that wisdom can be found and applied. Gears and balloons are both objects which can symbolise transition in different ways. Cobwebs cover an old gramophone, but with his head missing the man is unlikely to hear it anyway...interestingly, it is known that music provokes the amygdala; the area of the brain responsible for memory, emotional reactions, and decision making. If this image is screaming at you loudly, for fucks sake, please turn up the volume. If you need a place to start, try the song that was number one when you were born or pull out your old CDs. I'm wondering if the title, Hide and Seek, is referring to an actual memory, rather than a current situation. I'm tempted to say Hide and Seek could be a prompt for some people to recognise that life has become too dull and too rooted in the material. There could be a need to lighten up, and maybe a need to remember where joy resides. Listening is crucial here, I'd say the messages are all around, and you can find them in the words that are spoken...or maybe, what you’re listening to right now is predominantly unpleasant, or maybe it just lacks playfulness.
In the final image, we see a more blatant expression of loss of self. Not only is the man's face missing, but we also have what appears to be a tree without roots. I can't make out much detail of the building in the distance, but there is a definite impression of a stable structure somewhere over yonder. The title, Lost The Way, makes it clear that this is someone who has lost their sense of direction, possibly because of a lack of sense of self. Being drawn to this image could be a sign of not feeling connected to your environment - a sense of being out of place in unfamiliar surroundings. Even if you've been in the same area for years, it's somehow not conducive to developing a strong sense of self. A resonance here could be reflecting issues at home or work; although I wouldn't say this image is connected to personal or professional relationships. It is far more likely to referencing a particular place. That's not to say relationships are perfect if you feel drawn to this image, I'm saying the image itself is pointing your attention to the place not the people around you. If you're feeling lost, it may be time to stop what you're doing and take a look around you to see if you can get your bearings again.
You can view Crilleb50's portfolio here.
It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way. - Rollo May