151, 2019-04, …um den Zufall am Schopf zu fassen!, oil on linen, 82 x 90″ (detail)

“The problem for those who wait .- For a higher man in whom the solution to a problem lies asleep, strokes of luck and all sorts of unpredictable things are necessary for him to swing into action at just the right time -“for an eruption,” as we could say. Ordinarily it does not happen, and in all the corners of the earth sit people waiting, who hardly know to what extent they are waiting, but even less that they are waiting in vain. From time to time the call to wake up, that chance which provides the “permission” for action comes too late – at a time when the best youth and power for action have already been used up in sitting still. And many a man, in the very moment he “sprang up,” has found to his horror that his limbs have gone to sleep and his spirit is already too heavy! “It is too late,” he says to himself, having lost faith in himself, and is now forever useless. – In the realm of the genius, could “Raphael without hands,” taking that phrase in the widest sense, perhaps not be the exception but the rule? – Genius is perhaps not really so rare, but the five hundred hands needed to tyrannize the kairos, “the right time,” to seize chance by the forelock!”

— Aphorism 274, Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

I had been planning to do this painting for some months after a reread of BG&E, when the image hit me like a lightning strike. Spring of 2018 I encountered a system of synchronicities around Unicorns, beyond only what was trending, including my all pervasive sense of depersonalization (ala Blade Runner’s replicants), attempts to be human (to find a way to justify my actions in the world, and to see to it that I do not become Peer Gynt, which is to say, Nobody)… Occasio was the goddess of chance, and she was bald except for a ponytail at the front of her scalp— one was supposed to attempt to seize her ponytail in order to seize advantage of the unique, decisive moment in space-time when all the salient events synchronize and make liberation possible, kairos. A unicorn’s horn, it being the same substance as hair, is surely a forelock if there ever was one, and it’s easy to identify this mythic creature as a manifestation of Occasio. Nietzsche’s own final decisive moment in life and self-determination was to desperately embrace a horse that was being mercilessly beaten by its owner in the street. The unicorn is realization and actualization and an embodiment of the universe declaring itself free.