The painting I will be talking about is a painting in 2006 made by Emilio, a boy at the age of 5 at that time. His styles of paintings are all abstract. This little artist was a family friend of mine and he was undoubtedly a talented artist however he suffers from autism.
His works have been displayed in art galleries in Indonesia and one of his first works displayed was an abstract oil painting filled with colours of white, brown, red and black. When I saw this painting, it made me wonder what the meaning behind his art was.This painting made me think whether it is possible, and should there be a meaning or message in every art? ’ Would this painting be counted as a knowledge that people can gain from similar to Pablo Picasso’s political paintings? Suppose that it can, then if for instance, I take it from an adult’s -an adult that has no connection what so ever to Emilio and has no clue of this young artist’s background- point of view, then he might think the picture represents heaven and hell. The reason being is because this painting has four layers of four different colours.The top of the painting was a long brush of white going horizontal, underneath it was a brown line, below that was the red line and lastly at the bottom is a black line. This is similar to what people describe as the stages to heaven and hell where heaven is usually depicted as a holy bright ground at the top which is represented by the white line above, then the brown line is the ground we stand on currently in this life on earth and afterwards beneath our feet is the reflection of the red fires of hell.This black line in the bottom may also be a symbol of the creatures that live deeper in hell or it could also be all the dark emotions that reflect the tortured souls in hell. This may be the view of adults who believe in religion and the existence of heaven and hell.
However, what these people fail to acknowledge is that Emilio was the artist of this painting. Then would this train of thoughts be valid to the artwork of an innocent child at the age of 5 who does not understand anything about religion?Or is it perhaps some other meaning Emilio is referring to? Knowing Emilio’s state, then could there be a possibility this painting reflects his appearance of the world? Is it that autistic children like Emilio see the world in these dull colours because of their social standings? These may be plausible answers to why Emilio’s painting appears like this especially since young children do not understand the concept of religion well enough to draw and express about it. Yet, Emilio is a different child.
He is blessed with a special gift not all people have.His parents were telling me about him sometimes being able to predict the near future. One day he was pointing his dad to drive through all these different roads to avoid traffic jams. Apparently, it was true. They went around the area not going through the shortest ways his father usually takes which at that moment did have very bad traffic. His parents were telling me that these incidents happened a lot and there were more times he predicts something that came true. This may be unbelievable for many and people like me do question the truth behind these kinds of stories.This is a common issue usually asked which is ‘To what extent can we rely on information that is given to us? ’ But assume that all this is true then are there things that people with these kinds of gifts know that usual people like us don’t? If yes then does this mean that their spiritual perception and knowledge about life is at a different and higher stage than us? Or could it also mean that what we see and perceive in this world is all but just an illusion of what the world really is?Relating this back to the allegory of the cave, can what we see in this world perhaps be the reflection of the ‘real earth’, the earth that may be the falsehood of what blessed people like Emilio see? If all these theories were true then Plato’s theory of the divided line would be applicable to Emilio’s art.
This meaning that his art is in the stage of ‘becoming’ where opinion, which includes belief and conjecture, is taking place. His art is not the actual heaven nor hell or anything else but just the image of something people can give their opinion about interpreting through reasoning and logic or emotions.The reasoning of what I perceive and believe before is based on the knowledge I can reflect on because I know Emilio is a 5-year-old artist suffering from autism or some other state which I still find it a mystery. However, another person who does not know anything about Emilio may not be able to think on something similar to what I reflect upon. This proves that background and context can change the way we think about an art piece whether it would be either interpreted through reasoning or emotion.