TX: painted with brush at rear lower left in Greek <Elements of Divine Being / and prototypes of ANTHROPOS / work by / YANNI POSNAKOFF / ATHENS / AUGUST 2007>, signed in English and illustrated <Posnakoff 2007>
CM: Yanni Posnakoff's painting entitled Elements of Divine Being and Prototypes of Anthropos is based on a related preceding work of 2002. The composition focuses on a central chessboard, on which is enacted the game of opposites forces - black and white; male and female; good and evil. On this chessboard is represented the 'yin-and-yang' - Chinese symbol representing complementary forces, such as light and darkness; heaven and earth - whose traditional juxtaposition of black-and-white is replaced with the red of fire and the blue of water. The two halves are joined by means of the white face of the 'Anthropos' (pure human) in the form of man/woman at the composition's center, which consists of two profiles facing each other, forming together one frontal face - an expression of common will. The two forms of man/woman become one through the influence of the element of air, which reconciles and harmonizes fire and water.
The twelve gods - six gods and six goddesses - that govern the zodiac, are presented through the four elements that represent them - three gods per element - Mars, Apollo and Zeus with the red of fire / Aphrodite, Athena and Demeter with the green of earth / Hermes Trismegistos, Hestia, and Hera with the yellow of air / Artemis, Hephaestus and Poseidon with the blue of water. At the junction of these four elements appear the archetypal gods - Dionysus Elefthereas, Aesculapius, Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. These four eternal archetypes represent all the signs of the zodiac as well as the pairs of ideals and concepts that flank them - mind & enlightenment; spirit & conscience; agape (unconditional love) & logos (the Word); psyche & eros; wisdom & understanding; faith & worship; will & freedom; knowledge & truth.
It is worth noting that under the painted surface of the work there are hidden symbols that are coated with pigment. The viewer is invited to discover them by paying close attention and explore them at depth. The painting offers an opportunity for a dialog, which the viewer may initiate with him/herself, in order to reconcile the contradictions in his/her senses, thought and feeling. Behind the yin-and-yang appears the 'Triangle of Pythagoras' with its three universal symbols - the triangle of fire, the circle of air and the square of water. These three symbols are represented further by their Latin characters - 'C' for carbon; 'O' for oxygen and 'N' for nitrogen. In combination these characters from the prefix 'CON', which references the highest virtues - con/science and con/sciousness. Such pun suggests that 'Anthropos' can be called only the one who is endowed with conscience and consciousness - the virtues that reconcile and forgive everyone and everything.
The prototype of the perfect Anthropos is expressed through am integral personality, which comes through the reconciliation of opposing forces. These forces, which clash in the human psyche, can be reconciled through the power of the spirit. Anthropos should manifest all the divine powers with which every rational being is endowed. According to Posnakoff, "Anthropos is Hellene Chrestos"; whereby 'Hellene' means the enlightened one, while 'Chrestos' is the one who is useful to oneself and by extension to the world. Anthropos is useful when he/she incorporates the qualities of the eternal archetypes, as represented by the gods. The painting invites the viewer to explore the colors, the words and the countenance of the gods, which represent the three realms of knowledge - cosmology; self-knowledge; and theology. Prerequisite for the accomplishment of the role of Anthropos as creator is wisdom. Only through such wisdom may the seeker of truth understand and accomplish the 'Twelve Labors of Heracles' (a rite of initiation through the challenges set by the signs of the zodiac) and became autonomous as "divine being in the likeness of the Creator's image, and therefore as a perfect 'Anthropos', a useful Hellene".