This is another “Map Room” painting, where an admittedly casual, not-very-rigorous, artistic attempt is made to illustrate an idea. The piece began as a picture of Socrates’/Diotima’s Ladder of Beauty, then a group of itinerant Tibetan monks whom I had the delight to converse with inspired me to invoke the image of manifestations of goddess Tara (to head off any charge of cultural appropriation, I must share that I was actively urged to do this painting). The spectral representation of the figures is to make the piece a kind of Venn diagram: in the material world, most everything will be a zero-sum game— it is only in the creative realm where two things can occupy the same space, and so it is with Beauty. From journeyingtothegoddess:
Tara’s name literally means ‘star’. In works of art She is depicted as beautiful as the silver turret points of the night sky, young and playful. From Her celestial home Tara challenges us to live life fully no matter the day or season, looking to the stars and our hearts to guide us. […] In Buddhist tradition, Tara is actually much greater than a Goddess — She is a female Buddha.