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The idea of creating the painting “4th of September” was born in the summer of 2020, after the release of the musical film "Black is King" directed and produced by Beyoncé. The first painting by Irina Shchukina (Goldenfish), dedicated to the life and work of Beyoncé - “Sagrada Familia”, was presented in this film, which inspired Irina for creating the new painting with intention to create an art narration about the life and triumph of the goddess and icon of modern music Beyoncé, that will be a surprise gift to her for a special birthday, 4th of September 2021.
This work continues the story about the greatness of the American community of African descent, which was showed by Beyoncé in this movie. This is the story of their creativity, genius, brightness, originality, and complicated historical path.
4th of September | 210 X 294 cm (82.6 X 115.7 in)
The painting is created in the spirit of a new artistic direction of The Modern Renaissance. The Renaissance was a kind of cultural “explosion”, a challenge to the established foundations of society, which was of global importance and influenced the minds of mankind.
Like the Renaissance creators, the Carter’s family changes the world in modern ways. Through their creativity, they “launch the wheel of change with the solidarity of millions of hearts” in the direction of light and good. They help to make people better and closer to each other.
The painting “4th of September” is called to support the raised wave of public consciousness Black Lives Matter, which is changing relations in society. Like the movement which blurring the lines between races and preaching love and equality as the only possible way for humanity, the painting is a symbiosis, combinatorics, the quintessence of cultural-historical layers, which allow us to see in the main focus the Man with his true values.
In stressful moments of mankind’s history, which the COVID-19 pandemic is, the need for speaking about works of art with deep meaning awakens in people. In crucial and dramatic periods, the voice of a person talking about "who he is, where he came from, and where he is going" is extra-loud and has a great response.
The artist gives preference to the theme of cult works due to their special sonority, vitality, relevance, brightness and emotionality. Such works are aimed directly at the heart, at our consciousness, mind, feelings, principles and attitudes. They encourage us to think, analyze, and judge. Cult works are capable of evoking our brightest and most powerful emotions. They allow us to think differently, feel the vitality of our minds, develop and experience the happiness of the highest level.
At the same time, the artwork “4th of September” tells us a joyful story about life and the family way of creativity in one fine short moment. Behind this, we can see the fates not only of those on the canvas but also the members of previous generations. We distinguish their strength, beauty, energy, love, and inspiration that unite them. This is a kind of love story connecting the generations that are coming from the Past and going into the beautiful and bright Future.
With ease and feeling of flight, with the wind blowing and the music sounds, the Artist creates the Atmosphere of the Holiday, which is masterfully mixed with these more than four square meters of canvas and spreads far beyond its borders. The use of Leonardo da Vinci's academic painting techniques, such as sfumato, aerial perspective, glazing made it possible to deepen the space, to add volume and dynamism to a very complex composition.
The Coloristic task is perfectly solved in the painting. Despite a large number of characters, the color palette is wide, but at the same time balanced and harmonious. The divine sky-blue background is made by the method of color gradation. Magic Ultramarine in combination with Malachite light gives freshness and special sonority to the work, “special beauty to the world” of this painting.
Constructing the composition and the tonal-color scheme, the underpainting was created at the auxiliary stage. It helped to most accurately express the main half-tone of the painting. It was the tonal-color quality of the halftones formed by the optical combination of colored priming with a neutral underpainting that helped the artist successfully solve the problem of a light-aerial environment in the painting. In this case, a semitone underpainting is already considered as an air tone.
The original painting “4th of September” has its own characteristics of tonal-figurative composition and optical representation of the color. The artist used a systematic sequence of work, starting with monochrome underpainting with the color accents inclusions, and completing the technical process with corpus layers of paint, expressing the dynamics of light. The characters are dressed in stylized clothes of the past centuries. Supporting characters are in darker clothes, deliberately muted. The central characters stand out forward against their background, they are brighter and brighter. To accomplish the most difficult aims facing the artist, the methods of figurative realism and fantasy were used. These methods make it as clear as possible to represent the author's artistic intention. A fascinating journey to Beyoncé’s and her family world was expressed in the study of the heroes characters, peculiarities of their relationships, and family traditions. Step by step, the artist discovered milestones in the family history. Irina rethought and found the forms that were seen as the only correct ones to be captured on the canvas. The canvas is a document that has the power of perception and belief. Therefore, it is very important for an artist to capture and convey, harmoniously tie compositionally and in meaning all the components with the aim of the strongest response in people's hearts. It is believed that the Artist is the director of one shot. Irina masterfully copes with the task of staging a scene with 25 unknowns, tying them together with invisible threads. Despite the large volume of painting, the work is distinguished by geometric logic, rigor, and mathematical simplicity. The innovation of the painting “4th of September” also includes the fact that religiousness in this case is not a theme, but an expression form of the author's ideas. The richest culture of the Freemasonry movement cannot keep any person indifferent, let alone an artist. It is an inexhaustible source of ideas and mysteries, inspiration, creative interpretations, and fantasies for humanity. The composition of the painting is based on the elements of secret signs and symbols of the Freemason's language and their interpretation. The image is framed by Two Columns, associated with a kind of portal that opens the entrance to another world connecting eras. This is light and darkness, which means an exit to the light. On both sides of the Columns, we can see the Sun and the Moon, which form a kind of mythological and poetic binary unity. The Sun is the eternal light on which all earthly life depends. The existence of humanity, its spiritual and moral development, and the knowledge of God is impossible without sunlight. The sun is a reflection of all human progress, the forward movement of society from a lower stage to a higher state. In Irina's painting, the Sun is represented by a barely recognizable female image, which has given the world an endless stream of energy for many years. The Moon reflects the light of the Sun. The Moon is associated with mystical, primitive, instinctive, demonic, irrational principles. The artist presented the Moon in a barely recognizable masculine image, tragic, but at the same time legendary. The Sun and the Moon “worship children”. The Pyramid and the Radiant Delta create the energy of God’s presence. This is a mathematical point that does not have dimensions but is located everywhere and fills the infinity of space. It reminds us that everyone has his own star, which shines in his labors and guides in his search. The eye symbolizes the knowledge of hidden wisdom, an appeal to the conscience of a person. The symbol of eternity is the circle in a closed line. At the heart of the construction of the painting, there are the main Freemasons symbols of universality: the Dividers at the intersection with the Square, forming a hexagram. Beyoncé and Jay-Z are the main characters of the painting. They create a kind of the dividers, which starts from the point of the Radiant Delta and continues with the leading lines of the figures of Beyoncé’s parents, Father and Mother. The shapes of the bottom row are arranged according to the square rule. The dividers symbolize the Vault of Heaven, where the Great Builder of the Universe draws his plan. The square symbolizes the earth, where a person does his job. Uniting together, they form the interaction of the divine and the earthly: the “building” of God and the “building” of a person's life on earth. Beyoncé and Jay-Z are the central figures of the painting. The whole composition is built on them, subordinated to their interaction. They set the rhythmic structure, the tone of the narrative. They twist the whole painting around them in a spiral. They are guiding stars for all characters. “The first step is the hardest” - says Irina. - "It was not easy to find an appropriate image worthy of Beyoncé, having the same power of impact. The search for the artistic perception of Beyoncé led me to impressions of the brilliant outstanding image of the goddess of victory Nike of Samothrace. It was the most exciting moment when their kinship became obvious to me! They are very close in spirit, in nature, in essence”. Nike of Samothrace is an iconic symbol of the triumph of the human strength of mind, form, movement. “In the image of the goddess Nike, in her open pose, open to all winds, I can see an insane magical attraction, a stunning blow of beauty and grace. I saw the strongest point from which I could start creating the painting and portraying the main character Beyoncé. Beyoncé is a true fighter and a worthy winner. It is no coincidence that Beyoncé herself artistically comprehends it in her works. Now I have a better understanding of James Cameron's feelings when creating the most famous scene in the Titanic.”- says Irina. In Beyoncé's portrait, the seemingly incompatible are combined: the live emotions of a person and divine detachment and serenity. Beyoncé’s gaze looks past us, it is directed to eternity. This is the image of a devoted, strong, brave and passionate Goddess. The impersonation of truth and female humanity. The second central figure of Jay-Z balances the sides of the dividers. He is courageous, strong and noble, honest and smart, generous and magnanimous. Famous generals of all times and peoples resonate in his portrait. He is the head of the Carter’s family, Beyoncé's support and foundation. He is happy because the best woman in the world belongs to him and he belongs to her. Their interaction in the painting is composed in such a way that the extension of Jay-Z’s mantle is Beyoncé’s wing like a hand. Irina shows in this plexus of bodies a deep meaning, which lies in the fact that both of them are one whole, a continuation of each other. The wing is love and support, the inspiration of Jay-Z, the beloved husband. This is the very moment when love inspires. It is love and constant protection. The color scheme of the pair is extremely interesting. As a result of many sketches, the artist prefers the colors of gold and the sun, inextricably linked with the feeling of radiated energy, warmth, radiance, development, and focus on success. Beyoncé’s dress in african gold looks delightful against the rich color of the warm sunset. The artist absorbed and comprehended, decomposing the colors “The Lion King”, so close for Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Lovely children Blue Ivy, Rumi and Sir nestled comfortably on a soft cloud on the maternity line between Mother and Grandmother. They are happy and calm. After all, no matter how outstanding their loving parents are, they are always there. They are engaged in raising children, understanding their highest value. This is the meaning of Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z’s life, their stimulus, and inspiration source. In a soft blue dress, Blue Ivy gently clung to her little sister. Her hair is delicately framed by a wreath of blooming blue bindweed. She is the older sister, and she understands her mission well. The daughter of Beyoncé’s, who was the first to teach her mother confidence and curiosity. Sir holds a transparent ball with flickering small inclusions, twisted in the spiral of the universe. This is a symbol of our world, which is in the hands of our children, for whom the future belongs. This is the Crystal Ball of Desires. And birthday is the traditional best day for making wishes and letting them come true. You can touch this crystal ball and make a wish. Desires come true for people who have such incredible charisma and magic, who are hard-working and persistent. Sir’s pose echoes childhood Christmas photography when Beyoncé and Solange were little children. Beyoncé was holding a Christmas ball decoration. A symbol of peace that she would conquer in the future. Between Sir and Rumi there is a red rooster that Rumi hugs. They both were born in the year of the rooster. Like their father, Jay-Z. That year brought double happiness to the Carter’s family. Moreover, the Rooster is a symbol of dawn, sunrise, the one who sings about the dawn of a new day, new life and new hope. The Rooster is the Harbinger of the Sun, light and spiritual rebirth after the night, a symbol of spiritual renewal. Heaven’s Gift Baby Rumi in a pale pink dress with flowers weaved into her hair points up with her hand. She got a mysterious name from her parents associated with high genius poetry. Perhaps this is where the next secret of the worldview of the Carter’s family lies. The artist's idea of portraying Beyoncé with her hand raised is an artistic response to John’s gesture, expressing faith in a special purpose, the ideology of the elected, secret recognition of certain circles. In the upper left corner, we can see a flying Angel carrying two laurel wreaths in his hands. The appearance of the Angel slightly resembles familiar features. Laurel wreaths are symbols of glory, victory, and peace. They are intended for winners and triumphs as a reward. In the top-right row we can see flying Angels carrying a golden tray with fruits, ripe fruits: peaches and grapes. The fruit symbolizes fertility. It is associated with fruit-of-life children. One of the Angels lovingly spreads Beyoncé’s wing, emphasizing how important children are in her life. The Angel flying from the right side seems to take care of the children. With a hand gesture, she points to the star couple. She passes as if giving the way to Beyoncé on Olympus. We can also catch the familiar features of the legendary personality in her appearance. She is the icon of her time, in whose footsteps Beyoncé passed. On the left below Beyoncé and Jay-Z figures, we can see a group of Angels nestled on the clouds. Two of them are holding a family heirloom, the Portrait of Beyoncé’s Grandmother - Agnes Buyince. Her prayers protect and guide Beyoncé. This is a very dear and beloved person who is also present at the celebration of life. Beyoncé's parents, Tina and Mathew, are located on both sides of the painting, near the base of the columns. It also has a symbolic meaning. Parents are the pillars, the foundations on which the children stand. Beyoncé’s Father - Mathew is a purposeful, consistent and strong person. He dedicated his life to serving and bringing up the children. Although the road was not always perfect, he was exactly the man who first laid the stone in the construction of the Great Temple, Beyoncé’s Triumph and her entire family. He sits, resting on a cubic perfect stone, which he hewed at the cost of many efforts and many years of great work. He worked hard to remove roughness and unevenness in order to bring it closer to the perfect shape. He is pleased with the result of his work and enjoys their general joy. Next to her father is a luxurious Peacock, which is a solar symbol of God. The bird - symbol of success, wealth, prosperity and love. Peacock personifies diversity, the joy of life, beauty and longevity. The luxuriant tail of the bird is associated with nobility, domination, glory, greatness and pride. Beyoncé draws her physical strength from here. She originates her unbending and firm character, diligence, rationality and greatness. Beyoncé’s Mother - Tina is a source of rich spiritual strength, creativity, and beauty. For every person, mom is of the utmost importance. Tina is the keeper of the hearth. The artist deliberately used a speaking detail from the house in which Beyoncé grew up behind Tina’s figure. This warm feeling is known well when you see something that reminds you of your home and childhood. This is a place of power. Tina is calm, peaceful and happy with the way her life has turned out, what kind of children they have raised, what grandchildren they are pleased with. She is the inheritor of the great feminine principle of the family and its traditions. She lives a full life, enjoys it and the world of this family is in her secure hands. She has already had everything she needs to be happy, although she is still young, dazzlingly beautiful, attractive, full of life and ideas. Next to Tina there is the second daughter of Beyoncé’s family, the lovely Solange with her son Daniel. She is in a sun-drenched dress of her favorite yellow. She is a versatile and beautiful woman. As a performance actress, we can see her in her own style. Elegance, sophistication and aristocracy distinguish her manner and make her easily recognizable. She has got huge potential as a dramatic actress with a rich inner world and so natural courage. She is sincere and genuine. This is the youngest favorite member of the family. The spiritual connection with Solange is very important for Beyoncé. She is not only her sister but also the closest friend whose presence Beyoncé needs so much. Solange is the most reliable and most devoted person with whom Beyoncé can share her innermost secrets. This is her source of vitality and light. Solange’s son Daniel is the first member of a new generation of the family. It is he on whom the artist entrusted the greatest mission in the painting. Daniel makes chronicles of the family history. He holds the book in his hands, which is the most important symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and intelligence. Daniel is smart and attentive, full of honor and valor. His kindness, sincerity and openness to the world captivate and cannot leave anyone indifferent. The loving young grandmother hugs him, emphasizing their special bond. Numerous followers and admirers of Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z’s talents are in the painting. In the hands of one of the women, we can see a musical instrument, making beautiful sounds. Other characters echo her, picking up this mood. “4th of September” is a Musical Painting. And music is the basic component of the Knowles-Carter’s family, it is its air. In the distance, 13 steps are going beyond the clouds, symbolizing the purification of a person by trials. These are the steps that are destined to pass in order to achieve the greatest heights in life. The composition is presented at the mosaic field. Its drawing represents the change and strict proportionality of human feelings, which are balanced with amazing precision: good and evil, sorrow and joy. Perception is formed according to the laws of contrast. We rest as we are tired; we value pleasure only in comparison with the same measure of suffering. Joy is proportional to the grief and longing that precedes it. Finding a mistake reveals the truth. Good attracts us to the extent that evil repels us. The value of survival is measured by the strength of the struggle against the defeated difficulties that stood in the way. The columns are intertwined with roses, the beloved Beyoncé’s bees have flocked to them. The bee is an ancient symbol with many positive meanings, such as hard work, love for family, talent and purposefulness, dedication and eloquence. Finding and counting bees can be fun and enjoyable. This is another detail of the interactive inclusion on a par with the Crystal Ball of Desires. Beautiful butterflies have also flocked here. The butterfly is a symbol of love, strong marriage bonds, a symbol of summer, life, and soul, immortality, revival, rebirth, and transformation, since this insect is born, transforming from a caterpillar. It is a miracle passing from one state to another. These are talismans of creative personalities, people of art, which are the Carter- Knowles family. The artist drew butterflies, inspired by one of Jay Z’s songs. Everyone has heard such a poetic comparison: when a person is in love, butterflies flutter in his stomach. The number of butterflies corresponds to the age of Beyoncé when their Love with Jay-Z was crowned with marriage. And two doves over their heads symbolize conjugal love and fidelity. At the very bottom of the painting, we see a pool in which the Goldfish is peacefully swimming. In addition to many good meanings in this painting, it is a kind of signature of the author - Irina Goldenfish (Shchukina). “I hope this painting brings new joyful emotions to Beyonce’s family, gives them inspiration and new ideas,” says the artist. The artist has filled the painting with many symbols and mysteries. And everyone has the right to interpret and see them in their own way. Painting is a living process. Each painting is a living organism with its own soul, heart, with its own inexplicable laws of development, its own destiny. Painting is something excellent and undying after its birth. The painting “4th of September” has every chance to celebrate its 100th and subsequent anniversaries. It has everything for this. It was created with high-quality professional materials: Media & Materials: cotton canvas 100% by “Fredrix” premium two-layer coating with an even weave; high-quality oil paints based on natural pigments “Master Class” St. Petersburg; final coat with damar varnish “Winsor & Newton”. It has a museum format and size. The Dimensions are 82.6 X 115.7 in (210 X 294 cm.) The artist was working on the painting “4th of September” for about 9 months. It was created in Irina’s Shchukina (Goldenfish) studio in Playa del Carmen Mexico during the period 2020–2021.