– By Michael W. Berg, art historian, no really.
I recently came across a hitherto unknown representative of the famous Jònë’s ‘Lovecraftian Period,’ and in it one can see all of the significant themes that she would develop and, if I may be so bold, perfect throughout her career.
First, one must consider the canvas itself. This is a rare instance in which a visual record of the original canvas is actually available, and it was – as is the case with all of her pre-finished semi-blank canvases – perfectly blank in every way that matters:
Note the absolute lack of any form or focus within this obviously pre-finished semi-blank canvas. The light appears to be coming from everywhere simultaneously, or at least from three discrete angles, and the colors – particularly of the water – are evidently incomplete. In many places the ground-matter is virtually indistinguishable from shadows or from the various semi-structures that almost inhabit it, and the motion toward the horizon in both ‘halves’ is haphazard, at the best.
In other words, this is the perfect pre-finished semi-blank canvas for Jònë’s widely hailed and heralded Lovecraftian method.
Isn’t it obvious just how deeply this pre-finished semi-blank canvas yearned to be completed? By a somewhat obscured (and therefore all the more threatening) representation of Lovecraft’s fabled Cthulhu? The heart of the canvas was blank before – now it is occupied by the very soul-chilling apathy and chaos of the universe given form – or rather a semblance of form unrecognizable to the limited human mind. Or at least to the human minds of all save Jònë.
The light still appears to be entering the painting from multiple angles, but in the context of the presence of the Ancient Destroyer from Beyond the Stars awakened and surging to bring about the end of all things, such anti-natural madness is not only explained but to be expected!
And where before the colors were washed and unfinished, now both sky and sea reflect the agony of creation when in the presence of That Which Should Not Be, the wings and appendages of which can just barely be seen breaking the surface of the roiling depths, below which presumably lies the ruined temple-city of R’lyeh.
Even the semi-present fence-like almost-structure in the foreground, before simply evidence of either an incomplete painting or possibly brain, takes on new significance in the shadow of the waking horror: it is certainly to be interpreted as the last-ditch effort of the sentient to provide a pitiful effort at defense against the inevitable undoing of life, matter, and the Universe itself.
This painting, which I am calling “Cthulhu no longer Fhtagn Number 1A,” bears a striking resemblance to several of Jònë’s later pieces, including “Generic Pastorale Over Which Looms The Plateau of Leng” and “Fruit Basket Infested With Rats From The Walls.” I hope to discover more of these unfound treasures and, in so doing, procure absolute cartloads of grant money with which to fund the restoration of these paintings, which I will most likely donate to museums unless somebody makes me a better offer so I can retire from being an art histo- I mean, so that I can continue to pursue my research.