Painting of the Day: Disinformation I | Portrait of Chimpanzee

How does the painting ‘Disinformation I’ link to 2001: A Space Odyssey?

When I began to paint Disinformation I, I wanted to relate this painting to a few things that I’ve watched, read, and/or listened to over the course of my life. This painting parallels the opening scene of the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the monkey discovers a way to exert power over the other species and the situations in which they inserted themselves.

This opening scene is so powerful and authentic that the movie director used chimpanzees/monkeys to present the survival concept of power through hierarchy. That is something we deal with every day on much more sophisticated levels, which often happen to be unseen and are dismissed by the weaknesses and nonsense we surround ourselves with.

How does Descartes’ ‘I think, therefore I am’ relate to the painting ‘Disinformation I’ painting by Bartosz Beda?

The opening scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey also reminds me of a French philosopher named Descartes (1596-1650) who debated about the senses and our existence by saying ‘I think, therefore I am.’ When I look at the painting and see the color green, the immediate interpretation is not ‘I am viewing the color green,’ but rather, ‘the color green is being viewed.’ I have this sensation of seeing a green color, a symbolic representation of a chimpanzee, and feelings that make me think I know what I’m seeing, but there is no physical object that corresponds to those sensations.

I only look at the illusion of the monkey on a two-dimensional surface. It becomes even more unreal if I see the painting on a screen and not in person. However, it is a solid basis from which I can form an opinion and expand my knowledge about this painting.

Therefore, the painting itself and what it represents is disinformation, as my senses are triggered only by what I see and not what others view.

painting of the day, disinformation, portrait painting, bartosz beda, contemporary artist
Disinformation I, oil on canvas, 40x30cm (16x12inches), 2021 Check availability here.

How is disinformation represented in painting?

In short, disinformation is false or misleading information that deceives an individual or the public’s opinions, ideas, and views.

When I think about disinformation, I recall the second chapter of Carl Sagan’s novel Contact, in which he writes about the night sky being confronted by humans on Earth every night over the span of centuries. The night sky has been our companion and inspiration, but also is a way to control people using religion, science, and politics.

The sky, with its scattering of stars and glimpses into the universe, can be very comforting to look at, which is something that everyone recognizes. At the same time, the night sky was (and is) controlled in a metaphysical and psychological sense in all cultures.

Watch a process of making Disinformation painting.

Disinformation has a symbolic role in painting. It shouldn’t speak directly about misleading information, but through the symbolic representation of things, elements, and forms that we are familiar with, it can create an overall expression of what disinformation is.

When you look specifically at the painting of a chimpanzee titled ‘Disinformation I,’ there are more immediate references and connections to what you see than if I would have titled it ‘Chimpanzee.’ There are a few reasons for it that, which I already mentioned in the above paragraphs.

You can check availability of this painting here.