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The Portrait

* Egon Schiele, Seated Woman with Bent Knee(1917)(Portraitures are often deemed pale in comparison to other more elaborate forms of fine arts. Even the most quotidian can flourish into something wondrous, such fact is however sadly overlooked. Schiele was long notorious for the zigzag strokes when delineating human’s distorted forms. Striking a rather impertinent pose the viewers are invited to gaze at the woman’s intimate parts. The salient point of this portrait seems to be focused on the reveal or the disguise of the woman’s thigh, either of which the viewers are uncertain of what the woman is intended to act. There are still so many to be plucked out of Schiele’s painting- besides the thigh, the steely gaze of the eyes and the sketchy handling of the feet. The monstrosity of a statuette existence looms.)

She stares into the front and falls silent. Gaze exudes no sentiments nor expression, both eyes resemble stones rather than flints that obstruct stubbornly anyone who wishes to observe to the profundity. The only one who attends to her knows no cause of her muteness, yet informing everyone that such condition is temporary. Little do the curious know how the person also shivers in like fashion when merely taking a glance at her eyes, for they are seized by some formidable power ensuing from the two hollow sockets. Everyone stares down the pits and pines for a peak of the nadir.

The next time the curious ones see her, the figure’s contour blurs like myriads of little angels holding golden fleeces and dancing. A stark contrast to her divine periphery is the dire destitution that besieges her. Now her persisting silence has evolved into a spikiness that scares anyone who draws near. It is almost like passing by a cobweb-entangled statue and feeling its aura emitting although it remains immobile. Deep down her heart and mind she might be, secretly and unobserved by the others, nursing the wounds that incite the trauma of ruling out words and actions, or plotting a scheme that can avenge herself successfully. Spectators throng around her to judge, the situation she has adamantly mired herself in. Some throws a coin and bets on the continuance of her silence. “No more than another six years,” they contend.

Dear you, how another day comes and sunbeams sift through the heavily mucous curtains, shining on your bare self like spirits descending from heaven. I see you cringe at the sight of light, bury your head in your flea-bespattered shawl and mumble a curse. But your eyes, emotionless though like the sea that is ever tranquil, stares unwaveringly into the front even when the lights threaten to penetrate. You refuse to disarm yourself even when someone tames you and strikes your tender cord. When all possible noises cease outside and dusk veils half of your face, you finally succumbs to fog that gradually encroaches your eyes, and the sob that is barely muffled.


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