The Legacy of Frankenstein: Day 1 – It’s Alive!

      Consider the mad doctor. Before Jeckyl, Caligari, Moreau or any other, one thinks first of Frankenstein. The central figure of Mary Shelley’s masterwork may have been a tragic hero, cursed with good intentions beyond his wisdom. Contrariwise, his innovations may have been driven truly by megalomania.
There are examples of both kindness and madness in his field.
Pioneers in medical science have engineered ways to take tissue from the dead and graft it to the living, and to restart the heart. In essence, they bring the dead back to life. These and other such marvels are fairly commonplace today. At their beginnings, they were leaps of revolutionary genius.
‘Tis said that the line between genius and madness is thin. For some there is no distinction at all.
Many doctors have a great sense of compassion, working diligently to heal the sick, and save lives. Yet among surgeons there are a larger percentage of psychopaths than in the general population. The will to dissect a cadaver is unusual. The drive to slice into living flesh resides in a mind altogether more rare. For some, their fellow humans are merely a means by which to exercise power. Just ask the nursing staff of any hospital.
Power brings us to the painting before you.
      A bolt of lightning shoots into a patchwork form, starting a stolen heart. Other muscles tense. Stitches split. The creature is born in pain, while the doctor rejoices.
Is this particular doctor the infamous Frankenstein himself, or one of his successors?
Though his exultant grin shows through, the surgical mask otherwise obscures his features.
Still, by his own words, we catch a clue to his character.
The figure bound on the table is clearly female, comprised of parts presumably human. Yet this doctor cries to the heavens, “IT’S ALIVE!” “It.” Not she, or better yet you are, in recognition of the adult human brain implanted in this skull, but it. We speak of having offspring, a possessive term, but even so, the sane acknowledge that progeny are not objects. This particular father figure is mad enough to think himself well above the life he creates.
Thus we view this scene from above, looking down upon the creation of a Clockwork Concubine.
Whether or not there is any actual clockwork ticking ‘neath these patchwork skins, a concubine she is. Certain stitches form a pattern not unlike a corset. The parts assembled like pieces from several different puzzles were selected not just for viability, but in keeping with the doctor’s particular aesthetics. Several ribs may have been omitted intentionally from that wasp waist. The bosom and behind are enhanced with implants from more than one body. Even the dubious field of cosmetic surgery had its pioneers.
This new woman will be unshackled from the operating table, only to be bound again into sexual servitude. While kink with consent can be ecstatic, it is torture for the unwilling participant. This concubine, or one like her, having a strong mind and will beyond her creator’s control, will find a means to escape. We shall see the result upon the morrow. For now, this one electric moment is echoes skyward.

      “IT’S ALIVE!”
Acrylic on 24″ x 30″ panel
Master Nick Roberts © 2010

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