Trapped In A Mirror...
An Artist's Struggle
If you’ve ever had a strong compelling force to do something that just doesn’t seem to make any sense, then you know about the war can go on inside of you. Such examples have occurred throughout history. People push the boundaries of their limits. Climbing mountains, flying planes, and building all sorts of devices. There exists something within the human spirit that will not allow it to rest. It seeks to go deeper, to find itself, in all kinds of ways, in many places. But can you imagine? Just stop for a moment, really, stop for this one:
Can you imagine being trapped in a mirror for a year? That is what happened to Akiane Kramarik, a remarkable artist who has visions and lives them. She is known as a prodigy, her talent showing itself at a very young age. Although she had originally gone to a parochial school, it wasn’t long before the gifts truly manifested themselves and later she had begun homeschooling, where she could completely apply herself to her work. The list of things this young woman can do is beyond the scope of this article, but I’ll put a link below if you want to learn more.
An empathic soul, she felt sorrow for humanity. Everything in the world grew dark and yet, her diligence remained unscathed by everything going down in 2020. She knew the time was coming that she had to face what would be her greatest challenge. A work of self-reflection. A work that would begin to take over her life. A work that brought on insomnia, and deep emotional pain. To see Akiane there, in that painting, the blinks of moments in her eternal eyes, the soft blue pools of sadness peering out of the canvas, is to see her soul embedded in the paint and prima materia, that is that and all is that, the formless primeval substance-- the spark, everywhere and nowhere. A quantum phenomenon. Divinity in Darkness.
With a gentleness in her countenance, she speaks. It is truly like witnessing a living saint. The efforts of her days, the care and attention as she devotes long hours inside of something that cannot be spoken, where the deep scrutiny begins and she must try and try harder.
Painting herself out of the mirror and onto the canvas. Yes, again and again. Painting herself out of the mirror and onto the canvas. Day-after-day-after-day. And it does not get any easier. In fact, it becomes more difficult. A tug-of-war became clearly apparent and she noticed that the more she struggled, the more her portrait was turning away. She didn’t want to accept that her very image was wearing dozens of masks.
This deep “soul pain” can be understood by anyone who has ever gone down a similar rabbit hole, digging, to find the truth. To find what accurately represents one’s truth. And why not? Otherwise, there exists only an existential vacuum of human will against a black void of meaninglessness, which seems too contrite a thing as we watch what’s being played out on the world stage, the battles raging, the earth-shaking-climate-grating-iso-lating-pit of apparent despair. Where does that “despair thing” come from? I have a few answers to that question that can’t come here. Must keep a frame of reference.
But this “trouble”, this question, this desire was presenting itself day-after-day-after-day. In the beginning, she explains in a way that I interpret as a clearly divine experience. Above anything, the media can throw at our weary eyes.
We know every journey begins with a single step. For Akiane, this journey of 2020 meant she had to come to some encounter, to reveal the hidden. It’s something, but what?
It all started when she was researching information for her third book. And she was going through her storage and the archival place to dig up lost documents and hidden paintings that she’s done in the past. As she was going through all these collections, it just hit her like a lightning strike. She had come across a sketch she had done at age four. (And here I must add that Akiane has been doing her art since a very young child.) The picture that caused her to realize exactly what she must do was a sketch of herself at the age of four.
This particular image is so very awe-inspiring-- to see it and know that it was done by a child so young is to see nothing less than the power of an invisible hand that guides. Akiane is more than a prodigy, she’s a light and testimony to the power of the human
spirit. Today, no longer a child, she lives and works her art in the Chicago area, pushing the limits of her being.
I would have never expected that “this” painting was THE ONE that would drive me and push me all the way to my limits as an artist and as a person. It hit me what my next painting was going to be about. But I did not want to do it.
When she said the word, “not”, she sliced gently down through the air with her hands until they moved inward to rest on her lap. In quiet resolve, they rest, and I see her mind traveling back to that time when she knew this work at the point of its conception. This unknown known would have her trapped, isolated, within a mirror.
She knew the painting had to be done at a specific time and in this specific year and as she centers herself on those old moments in that flow of time, she remembers: She kept painting and painting over and over again, each time, seeing it wasn’t true. Each time changing this and that.
A close friend who’s worked with Akiane from the beginning remarked on how she had even inserted her own hair, fibres from her apron and blouse, tiny wood flakes from her easel...
There are many strange circumstances surrounding this young woman. For one, the painting that launched her career was a painting she did of Jesus. The painting disappeared, was mistakenly sold, and kept out of the public eye for almost 2 decades after which on December 13, 2019,s at 10:19 PM, CBS Chicago reported that:
After years in the darkness, Akiane Kramarik’s Famous Painting of Jesus Brought, ‘Into the Light Again’.
The story around that is in itself a whole story in itself, but in a few words, it came back covered in sawdust. Akiane had to restore it. Then it was sold to a noble family. Shipped with the most care, resurrected, flying, high above the clouds to its new
The never-ending stream of what we seem to consider as “unusual”, might actually be the truth: that anything is possible and despair is not an option because miracles abound.
For reasons unknown, Akiane’s hair colour has naturally changed from black to red to light blond to all shades of brown.
Her talents don’t stop in the area of painting, she communicates in 5 languages:
Lithuanian, English, Russian, American Sign Language, and Japanese. Her mother tongue is Lithuanian.
There is some built-in humour in the fact that she doesn’t like traveling in a car, and doesn’t have a driver’s license, but she can fly a Cesna airplane.
For Akiane Kramarik, who was born on July 9, 1994, on the edge of a cornfield in Mt. Morris, USA, life is truly a gift and she looks forward to the future, believing that science will be able to reveal quantum relationships of code that she has purposefully hidden in her originals. You know what? I think so, too.
Here is a link to the video: Trapped In A Mirror