The Korai Series, Birth of Athena
oil on canvas
48 x 36 in.
The Korai is a Greek word to describe early sculpture of the female form. From the 7th Century B.C. (the Korai image) sculpture evolved through stages from simplistic to a narrative, becoming the communication of ideal feminine beauty. She not only represented feminine beauty to delight the Gods, she represented a new quest for interiority, for the exploring the inner self. Because this phase of art (inner exploration through art) was so monumental, it has never been completely extinguished from our consciousness. The Korai stays skillfully integrated in our culture by some form or another and we never realize it.
She shows up in the common shop window instead of a temple. She looks mundane, an ordinary object by day. At night she is transformed. She exudes the origins of her ancestry. She is illuminated by spotlights. She is elevated above the street so that you must look up at her. Her vacant stare has become a mysterious gaze. She seems to remember who she was.
© Peggy Nichols