Michael Volpicelli, Artist and The Eye of Truth



Michael Volpicelli

The Eye of Truth

Drawing made from words from every major world religion, scientific point of view, and world philosophy on what is the nature of truth and reality

The “Eye of Truth” evolved from one question- “What is truth? How do people see truth?”

Drawing made from words from every major world religion, scientific point of view, and world philosophy on what is the nature of truth and reality

I asked myself this question, and I also posed the question to my friends and followers on Facebook to get the broadest range of thought. From there, the concept evolved further into the idea of “How do we see reality? How to we perceive reality?” I noticed the trend of relating the physical sense of sight to both truth and reality, and so I decided to use an actual eye to illustrate my point.

I received a wide range of responses from a wide range of people, and all of those ideas became incorporated in the piece. The “Eye of Truth” contains words from all religious and scientific trains of thought. There are beliefs from major religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, but also from belief systems from various Native American cultures. Some words and phrases came directly from crowd sourcing, and others came from the 4 months of research I did in preparation of the piece, reading the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, and so on. But I didn’t want the piece to be just religious based.

I branched out into more philosophic and scientific trains of thoughts, because religion itself does not make up all truth, or all reality. And so I read works by Einstein, Galileo, Newton, Nietzsche and other great minds of our time. I wanted to include existentialism and sensationalism, and other thoughts on how people perceive reality. Not everything was taken from the past though- I watched the series “Cosmos” starring Neil Degrasse Tyson, and incorporated a lot of quotes from him, as well as some wisdom from Dumbledore, from the Harry Potter series.

There are so many different facets to truth and reality, that it was important to me to use as diverse a source as possible.

The quotes and phrases and words were all incorporated throughout the entire art piece, and at the very center of the pupil is the ohm symbol, to bring everything together, representing everything. The idea that became one of the driving forces behind the art piece was “As you are looking at truth, truth is looking back at you”. Meaning that as you look at this piece, phrases and words that resonate within you begin to jump out at you, and you see those words the most clearly. My wife looks at the art piece, and phrases such as “see me, see yourself,” and “love each other” jump out at her. Someone else may look at the art piece, and see different phrases such as “human character”, “faith”, or “kindness”. Someone else may see “Lotus” and “Buddha” jumping out. The art piece is all encompassing, and has something that can relate to everyone, and is in the art piece just waiting to be found.

I spent about 4 months researching before beginning the pieces that go into creating the drawing. I started by taking a picture of my wife’s eye and altering it digitally into a grey scale to see the various shades. I lay down my darkest layers first and go from dark to light. The entire piece is done with micron pens in various sizes. I use the thicker microns for my darks, and progress to thinner microns for the lighter areas.

I also adjust the word size to help with the shading. The words in the darker areas of the art piece are smaller and more compressed than the words that make up the lighter areas of the drawing. There is some overlay for shading, but I try to keep the words as legible as possible. One of the more difficult aspects of this drawing piece was having to write sideways throughout the eyelashes and pupil.

One thing I was trying to accomplish with this drawing piece was to have it look like an actual eye, and not just a bunch of words on a page. The idea is that from far away the art piece should look almost like a photograph of an eye, but as you get closer, various words and phrases start to jump out. The larger, lighter words will jump out first, but as the viewer continues to move closer, even the smallest, darkest areas become legible. This way, there is something interesting in every angle and every distance, and there is always something new to discover in the piece.

And as the viewer continues to observe the art piece, more and more words will pop out that resonate with their view of truth and reality.

Artist: Michael Volpicelli

Artwork: Eye of Truth

Dimensions: 25 x 48.5 inches

Price: $10,000 USD





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