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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Decade

Erró

Socrate / Sókrates

Year
1968
Height
34 cm
Width
46.5 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Lakkmálverk

In the series The Monsters, Erró splices together famous individuals and iconic monsters from American horror films. Each painting shows two faces, each split in two, with both positive and negative sides. This juxtaposition leads to not only the demystification of the piece as such, since it reveals the process and handiwork behind it, but of the subject as well. The individual and the monster are connected. Does Erró mean that the human being is at once an angel and a demon, or does he rather mean that the public image does not always tell the whole truth and should not be trusted completely? But let us say that Socrates is a monster. In order to support this theory one can read history books and the myths surrounding Socrates. He could be a monster in more than one sense: he was so ugly that he was likened to a satyr; in the eyes of some he was considered morally depraved, while to others he was a genius. But there is no question that Socrates was a star philosopher, or what is called in French a “holy monster” (monstre sacré). A monster is in fact something that disturbs the natural order of things in a positive or negative way.

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