A thought about The Hallway

in #hive-17457826 days ago (edited)

A thought about The Hallway

Painting by @hiddenblade


Yesterday I came across this stunning oil painting above by @hiddenblade. The moment I looked at it something hit me, and I keep thinking about it. So, I thought I should write about it to at least try and get my unorganized thoughts in order. The intent is not to review hiddenblade’s painting, but to express my personal thought when I observe a painting. It will be my observation, and more importantly, my imagination will be quite different from the artist‘s and certainly from other viewers. That’s why people hang a painting on their wall (at least I do)!
I will keep it in two parts, facts and interpretation (rather imagination)


This is a painting of a Hallway. It’s dark. The view is from an average height person, similar to the height of the lady pushing the wheelchair (I will explain, why the height matters). The floor has shiny tiles, with mirror like finish. That almost gives an impression of a hospital, but the darkness perhaps leads my mind towards a mental institution (that’s perhaps an interpretation, sorry for mixing). The perspective and vanishing point is textbook, as taught in art school. I notice the ceiling dividers visible in the foreground but not at the distance, perhaps due to the flooding nature of the distant light. The red streak on the ‘nurses’ head is artist’s personal signature. It is not reflected on the floor. There are handrails on either side (like an ‘institution’s’ hallway). The nurse is walking. I don’t think there is anyone sitting on that wheelchair (nah, I am certain that there is no one sitting on that wheelchair).

insidious 4_ the hallway.PNG

Insidious 4; source

In a way this perhaps remind people of the hallway featured in the movie Insidious. Maybe, what lies ahead along the hallway or even beyond the hallway. The artist herself thought about that. However, there is something wrong with that Insidious image above. Did you notice? People are taught in art school that horizon line, the vanishing point, should be level with the eye line of the viewer. Now do you see what’s wrong with the image. If you assume Elise’s height, that vanishing point is far too high. Why? You can have your own interpretation, but I will argue it is from someone’s perspective, who’s eye level is at least 2 ft higher than Elise 😊……. Someone floating in air… 😊 but that’s on the side… we digress...


No, I didn’t think about Insidious, when I first saw the painting. I thought about The Shining. I thought about both Kubrick’s masterpiece of a movie and the King’s 1977 novel by the same name. The book is more vivid than the movie in my mind. However, the movie had multiple scenes with hallways. Like the iconic scene below:

The Shinning_ the hallway.PNG

The Shining; source

Notice the low camera angle as the same level of the trike. Or the shot below:

The Shinning_ the hallway2.PNG

The Shining; source

From the perspective of an adult standing behind Danny.

These are the hallways I thought first, although none of them has tiled floor with mirror finish. It is the mirror finish that is the critical element of hiddenblade’s painting in my opnion. But lets get to that at the very end for punch.
The young nurse a pushing a wheelchair. Why an empty wheelchair? Is she going to pick up a patient? Or she is pushing an ‘invisible’ patient. Is the nurse a patient herself? Who’s inside these rooms? Are they well? Why the wheels slightly turned to the left? These are the questions I wonder, and I answer all of them in my mind. I basically have seeds for a short story 😊
Finally let us talk about the floor. Here, I am certain, that the artist didn’t see it this way. But I do, and I will tell you what I see. Let me flip the painting for the effect!



I see the reflection looking straight at me, that’s the front of her face. She has the hair covering the front of her face, but I can still her eyes behind her hair….




Wow this is really impressive! I've never thought you have that art critic's eye :D
Great observational skills and I'm pretty impressed you have noticed there's no patient sitting on the wheelchair.

The close up reflection of that creeped me out a bit even though it's my own painting. LOL! You're right, I haven't intended it that way and haven't even seen it. You know what's amazing after you pointed it out? The painting discusses about the uncertainties of life and the reflection (in your interpretation looks like from The Ring), is the total opposite. I had to read the plot of that movie again cause I was probably 6 or 7 when I saw it and had completely forgotten about it now... and knowing that Samara is very certain you'll die after 7 days... it's a pretty amazing that you have thought of that. Critical thinker you!

I'm so so glad that you thought about this for a long time and decided to write about it. I've never gotten any critics like this ever since I left art school and just imagine the thrill while I was reading this. Also don't be afraid to speak about your own interpretations or critics. We artists know that each person will have their own different views on it and we will even be happy if it makes one think. Thank you for writing this! :D

I am a lifetime member of Musuem of Fine Arts in Houston MFAH. I am actively involved in 'consuming' art; both my daughters goes to art school. My wife paints. We have 50+ painting on our walls (mostly student art, and we are out of space). I am the odd one out in the family, I sometime paint.... but not to generate art, but for therapy :) So bottomline I don't have a choice NOT to understand art :)

The movie is based on a book by Koji Suzuki. Again, the book is more vivid than the movie. I read a lot of Japanese Literature... especially lately on magical realism. So the thought came naturally.

Again, I think it is a spectacular painting. I can write a short story on it if I had the time :)

Oh wow, lovely family! Having the whole family being engaged in art is a great experience I bet. I'm the only one in the family that does art. Not even my cousins and other relatives so I don't have that kind of other sources of knowledge, only books and colleagues.

I don't have a choice NOT to understand art :)

Yeah that makes a lot of sense lol.

That's really touching T_T Would be so cool for you to write about it! (even you thinking of doing it is cool enough already!)

You should do a series on other artists’ work.

Seriously? People will hate me ever more :) :)

Once a week will do.

Great write up and perspective.
This is exactly what I suggested could add depth to the art community here on Hive. Observer critique and impact of emotion on the human.

A print service could also be implemented to take the art that is traded here to the heights of existing in one's own environment.

The NFTshowroom market aspect is cool but for that art to just live in digital storage it might kind of make the novelty wear off.

This is a ingenious idea. When I look at the painting — I have a different perspective. what it means to me; is so different. The collaboration could be endless. A 100 people could review a single piece; and each would have a different reaction. AGHHHH! How cool?

Exactly because Art ignites passion. Like your comment demonstrates. Artwork both represents expression of humanity (artist & observer) but more broadly it's also a portal of the potential of existentialism. Of not just us (the self aware species) but the whole of our greater environment: The Universe.

The beauty of it too, is as you've pointed out.. that every perspective adds a different layer and it all then exists as very real content of human collaboration. Look at foodie culture for instance. The success of it is that it connects everyone. From high end to street food to home cook. From the chef to the chubby consumer to even the photo buff. One could even say food exists as edible art!

Agree. Most products needs consumers. People consume and they appreciate while consuming, or don’t appreciate. Hopefully a good products gets appreciated more. If people who appreciate comments or write about it or talk about the product with friends and acquaintances... the product gains momentum. It’s simple.

My thoughts exactly! I'm a card-carrying member of the Seattle Art Museum (affectionately called SAM) and each time I have gone (sadly, not this year) I have a different experience, even within MY own previous experience with the permanent installations. Art is science. Oh, and AZIRCON had me at "geologist".

She is really good and most of her art is at a good price in the market!

Nice review, the painting is also great, I do love the reflection on the floor. (I wonder if there are still hospitals with shining floors like that??)

Beautiful pictures!

I am glad to know that you are geologist. I am mining engineer btw.

I like horror , But some horrible

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Great work! I have never seen horror in such artistic way. Appreciated.

Except her foot is backwards or she points her toes way higher than most people.

Is the floor mirror finish or wet? I think wet, and the possibility she is pulling that wheel chair has to be considered. But I think pushing away from the viewer.

What a fun exercise for me. It truly is an extraordinary painting. Thanks for sharing it and your thoughts, and pardon me for hammering over them.

Well I can argue, the foot can be that way on purpose :) :)

I will lean towards mirror finish ;)

I might have a panic attack any moment now dada --__--. About the hallway in Insidious, do you see how far up the ceiling is!! its like its purposefully made into a transit route for poltergeists:(

But I learned something yesterday! like the many things ive learned from you till now :)) That is, there is more to everything than it meets the eye, emphasis on everything when its art and even more emphasis on everything when YOU like it:VV

Like I tried to say there. That is the way I see it. Highly likely that is not the way others will see it, and that is perfectly fine. I just thought about writing it. It's a fascinating painting to me.

It is interesting to look at art in this way.

But, I am not a fan of artists explaining their work - that is not their job.

absolutely, I am not either....

but as a comsumer... I can :)

I haven't seen the movie, but perhaps the angle of insidious will appeal to younger audiences as it gives the sense of a FP game? A lot of movies these days seem to look more like games.

you are correct... a true horror is difficult to come today.