THE UNICORN ORGY
1998-2004 sculpture of a dream scene (1995/4/22); figurines 8-10" each, made of paperclay (a fine-grained papier-mache); by Chris Wayan
This sculpture group was inspired by a dream called Lola. In it, I witnessed a secret reunion of long-separated unicorns--transparent ghostly unicorns--that turned into a wild party, and then... a unicorn orgy!
But as I sculpted unicorns, one by one, things went their own way--the ghost orgy turned into a playful group of varied mythical creatures, nothing like the dream.
Still, it started with unicorns. Most things do.
I didn't build this group just to record the dream.
Nor did I build it just to shock, though it seems to have that effect on many people.
I chose unicorns for a reason--to make a point.
In ancient times, unicorns stood for wildness, energy, and the holy, healing power of sex. The Medieval Christian writers deliberately reversed that. They drafted unicorns as poster-children for virginity and their cold, anti-body notions of purity and control--of women, of kids, or animals, of one's own animality.
Monotheism seems to believe all but the sterilest notions of the soul must be tamed, bridled... neutered.
As a pagan, that offends me--they perverted a pagan symbol of sexual healing for their own sex-hating, body-hating, world-hating views.
So these unicorns are reclaiming their ancient ethnic heritage, so to speak.
A heritage of the innocent, sexual, sensual play from which all life arises.
Over the next couple of years, I refined the figures and painted them. A playful, teasing mare in heat...
Well! Now it's a year or two later. These two unicorns stood like guardians over my bed all that time, but now I'm working on a couple of new figures to add to the group, though they're still rough.
Here's a sort of satyr who's part wolf or coyote intead of part goat...
What he stands for may depend on which end you're looking at! Maybe he's just lust incarnate, sticking it into any available mouth...
On the other hand, maybe he represents all the dog boys of this world, whose eager tongues have contributed so much happiness to so many girls (and quite a few boys).
If you're just starting out sexually, getting licked is definitely the way to go (especially if you're a girl--way more orgasmic than coitus).
Hmm. Maybe he stands for both things at once--getting off and giving head at the same time, passing the energy on.
Both selfish and giving?
The archetypal guy!
This girl was unexpected. She's a dryad, a tree-spirit, a plant-guardian, who sports a luxurant, literally bushy tail, green with leaves...
I only realized after sculpting her that her legs are neither goatish (like a faun or satyr) or human (like most depictions of dryads) but the long, swift legs of a hunting cat--a cheetah, perhaps. What was my unconscious trying to tell me here?
If we go back to the Greek myths all this arose from, the fusing of forest and forest hunters is strange only on the surface. Remember Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt?
So this dryad may mean both female sex/fertility AND an Artemis figure--a wild girl so focused on hunting for what nourishes her and pleases her, that she doesn't want to be tied down to babies, marriage, civilization!
Though she doesn't seem as fierce as Artemis/Diana and her followers often are. All this dryad seems to be devouring is coyote come...
Oh, well, I guess a virgin goddess can join an orgy if she wants to... she's only putting her own fingers in, and Clinton showed us that mouths, fingers, vibrators, cigars, and presidential aides don't count.
Oh, sorry, was that cynical?
Anyway, I like this dryad (and identify a little bit with her), even if her portrait standing alone looks a little crazy, with her slit cat eyes and that stuck-out tongue, like an outtake from a alien porn film (I can hear them now: "CUT! You're overacting again!")
But really, she seems very sweet and generous--in the group, even as she comes, she's trying to reach and please one of her lovers.
Technical note: the wolf-satyr and dryad were about the hardest figures to fit together, as there wasn't much room for her to reach in under his belly and between his knees. And the mare's hooves further limited things.
Soon I learned how fragile that leafy tail was! Broke off leaves constantly, then dropped the dryad and shattered the whole thing, despite the wire armature inside... I was constantly mending the poor dryad's tail.
Now to fit the other couples together!
UNICORN MARE AND STALLION
This couple was the easiest, since they were literally made for each other.
Notice, though, I still didn't say easy. It's always hard to make rigid statues fit together like flexible, living bodies. If I carved them down to fit, they'd be distorted when they stand alone--pieces missing!
I didn't want that. I wanted them whole if apart, but happier together.
There are always trade-offs, compromises, adjustment... but then, that's true in real love, too, right?
I said, right?
MARE AND WEREWOLF
Now the whole group...
When the leaf-shaped background panel is painted, and the protective frame (probably round or oval) is done, the whole orgy will hang sideways on the wall, as if it's a meadow. They'll all be ninety degrees off our vertical. Ha. Kind of underlines that they're MORALLY at right angles to that upright Judeo-Christian-Islamic world out there...
And that's the point. It's not satanic, defiant, or against those book-religion values, but completely off in a different direction, at right angles to the book-religions. The unicorn orgy's holy book is the book of life and love. Without any of our rules or suppositions, they're innocently obscene. The closest we have to that is modern paganism, Goddess worship, or witchcraft, and that's a pale shadow of the pre-monotheistic religions and their worldview. Modern witches, after all, grew up in reaction to our world.
But this world, my dream world, is different. I grew up solitary, in an atheist family ignorant of conventional religion, and from an early age I had visions like this--friendly animal spirits and gods who fused spiritual teaching, communion, play, affection and sex quite freely.
Oh, and while I'm on the subject of having wall-sculpture that's ninety degrees to the so-called real world, why does everyone ALWAYS hang masks facing outward, huh? You see faces at other angles, don't you? You DRAW faces at other angles, right? So what's with sculpture? How about masks showing your profile, or the back of your head, or the top or under your chin, or... ?
I mean, Pete Townshend's not emperor, you don't HAVE to Face the Face.
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