#122 “Mystique”

From Maj in Maribor, Slovenia

Mystique (n): a fascinating mystery of aura, awe, and power surrounding someone or something

When it first met my eyes, the romantic allure of this illustration struck me as being so intoxicating, so overwhelming, that for many hours I was held powerless in its artful grip and could not even begin to question its meaning or interpret its message. I merely basked in the glow of its grandeur and was content.

Now, many days later, I have adjusted more readily to the comeliness of this incredibly unique masterpiece, but I still find myself unskilled in any interpretation of it. This work defies description and yet incorporates so many elements into its presentation that it encompasses a world associations.

The enigmatic lights that create a chilling silhouette of this tremendous wolf create both the mystery as well as the appeal of this extra-sensory masterpiece. Are these lights the headlights of a vehicle plowing through the thickness of night, preparing to mow down this werewolf-like creature on a windy mountain road? Are they the lights of hunters, seeking out their prey in the dense forests of an Appalachian Mountain hollow? Are they perhaps dim specters of the wolf aura itself that surrounds this beautiful creature as it maneuvers its way skillfully through the dead, still darkness of night?

No matter what the source of these lights might be, they share only a brief glimpse of this magnificent creature; but nonetheless, this is all that is needed to chill the blood, to induce a quickened heart rate and fix the eyes unwaveringly on this lupine wonder. So many questions may be raised about exactly what is taking place here, but one aspect of this illustration rings true: it’s beauty. Fierce or fanciful, tame or terrifying, otherworldly or ordinary, this wolf howls with a poignant magnificence that cannot be denied.

Just one glance at this picture makes me want to brave the midnight forests in search of the lordly king of the natural world. He may greet me with a mystical embrace… or he may rip my throat out with one swift gnashing of his razor-sharp teeth, but this illustration inspires me to try…. regardless of the outcome.

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