Behind Mona Lisa

Anthony McCracken

Chico, United States

Artist's Description

This isn’t a nod to any code that might be hidden in Leonardo Da Vinci’s classic work. This is a nod to Da Vinci himself but to me it’s mostly about appreciating the freedom of artistic freedom artists can enjoy this day and age.

To me this sketch of mine is using his conventional, professional side of Da Vinci’s life to hide some of his true interests and passions. He had to secretly study anatomy, he sketched inventions and ideas that he had to hide from public. Who knows what this genius would have been able to accomplish in this time.

The Mona Lisa is a wonderful piece by him, but what has always fascinated me about him was his thinking, his curiosity and his passion for exploring. He didn’t accept the answers given to him. What people mostly saw were his portraits, what seemed to be truly interesting to him was hidden. I appreciate how freely people can now express themselves and I deeply sympathize with those who find themselves restricted and stifled. Included in the piece is “Liberta,” the Italian word for “freedom” written in the style of Da Vinci’s handwriting. I wanted to imagine if Mona Lisa was done in his sketch books, what might be near the revered portrait?

This was created with ballpoint pen on light paper.

Artwork Comments

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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