#100 - 2506 Beacon Ave. | Sidney, BC V8L 1Y2, Canada 250-655-1722

Steve Chmilar

Mirror Test (Original Art)

Artist's page

Oil on Wood Panel
38" x 38" / 96.52cm x 96.52cm

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Mirror Test was inspired by the scientific experiment that is used to discover an animals level of self-awareness. This artwork was completed in the highly-finished manner common to historical oil paintings made in the Golden Age of Dutch Painting - roughly spanning the 17th century. It is a self-portrait that allows the viewer to discover subtly concealed details within the narrative. The mirror in the right hand is attached to the end of a rope that extends from the bottom of the well. The left hand rests upon a tablet showing a Youtube video of a chimpanzee observing itself in a mirror. Like a museum display, the legend at bottom right is a habitat map showing parts of Canada circled in red. The facial expression is a play on the melodramatic demeanour common in paintings such as the Canadian history painting Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West (1738-1820). While Mirror Test is a whimsical comparison of human self-discovery to that of the animal, it doubles as a call for the necessity of individual reformation and self-empowerment as a counter to many ideologies that propose dissimilar values in contemporary society.