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Stairway to Heaven vs. Stairwell to Hell: surreal art-print, poster, book, desktop-wallpaper

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Stairway to Heaven vs. Stairwell to Hell: surreal art-print, poster, book, desktop-wallpaper
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Stairway to Heaven vs. Stairwell to Hell: surreal art-print, poster, book, desktop-wallpaper.

A lot of life boils down to the question of whether a person is going to be able to realize his fantasies, or else end up surviving only through compromises he can't face up to. The way I figure it, Heaven and Hell are right here on Earth. Heaven is living in your hopes and Hell is living in your fears. It's up to each individual which one he chooses. The concept of afterlife Heaven is documented well enough in Christianity and other present religions, however the origin of it somewhat different and rather unclear. It is defined mostly as a World to Come rather than the Kingdom of Heaven. Judaism does not explain plainly what happens to one after death. The after death future is mysterious and has no guidance about what is to come. The only certainty is that each man must die - beyond that we can only guess. I gave this subject matter a bit of consideration. Hence, this image is the result of my views on the matter. As the saying goes, where there is Heaven there is Hell. No one knows one’s time to come or go. It may happen at any given moment, let’s say while walking in an autumn parkway. Our reality is deemed as a lobby before the World to Come. One has to prepare oneself in the lobby so that one may enter the banquet hall. While it is a quite elegant concept, other teachings have different theories. There are several heavens In Buddhism, all of which are part of so called illusionary reality. Even staying in Buddhist heaven is temporary. Because of that heaven is not a final destination but rather a limbo before reaching total enlightenment or mental state of Nirvana. In many languages, heaven is the same as the word - sky.

Surprisingly enough, early Judaism had no concept of Hell as well, but it had a sort of supernatural place, a grave originally and in later times a Limbo where one becomes finally aware of one's life shortcomings and wrongdoing actions during one's lifetime. Hell is not exactly physical presence in Jewish teachings; it is more a very intense feeling of shame. People are suffering there from being ashamed of their wrongs and their misery makes up for the bad actions. However, the gates of return are said to be always open, and so one can align his will with that of God and return to the World to Come at any moment. This concept of forgiveness is in line with the Christian Universal Reconciliation that is the belief that all human souls would be ultimately reconciled with God and admitted to Heaven. The idea of Hell is a highly influential subject to everybody. It does not matter if you believe in it or not, it is always somewhere around; in movies, books, language. Jean-Paul Sartre in his play No Exit explores the idea that "Hell is other people". That is hard to argue sometimes ;)

I have never been into a horror or fantasy world imagery. These genres have just never appealed to me as a worthy subject matter. Yet, here it is, the latest mage that has all the glory of angels, judgment day semiology, Themis-Femida, and a grim reaper. The stairway to heaven’s title derived to me from the previous work, Led Zeppelin. It is one of the most popular in seventies and inspirational soundtrack compositions of the English rock band, often referred to as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The eight minute song is a true divine revelation and has three sections each one progressively increasing in tempo and volume. However, the song lyric released in late 71 is rather disappointing, messy and incoherent. The poetry of the song which is about “a woman getting everything she wanted all the time without giving back any thought or consideration” does not fit the title, even remotely. In addition, the original album’s illustration of the stairway is nothing short of triviality. In order to incorporate and simplify all the life sequence ambiguity I divided the picture, just like the Zeppelin’s song, to three parts. There is Reality as autumn forestry; Purgatory as a rundown hallway lobby; and up-and down flights of stairs to Heaven and Hell. “The mind is a universe and can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” -John Milton

Software media: Autodesk 3ds Max ®, Adobe Photoshop ®, Adobe Illustrator ®, Photo Stock
George Grie,  July 2014
image tags: angel grim reaper femida, figure, architectural, derelict, dilapidated, religion, grunge, hall, hallway, heritage, history, house, medieval, illustration, interpretation, ruined, rundown, staircase interior, stairs, vestibule, grim, reaper, specter, human, devil, mystery, terrified, phantom, dramatic, monster, door, hell, horror, evil, ghost, art, surreal, danger, digital, heaven, bizarre, concept
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