The Man Who Mistook His Cigar For A Pipe*

From the first season episode Art (S01E02) we learn that our 'ubermensch' detective has a taste in art. Let's remember what he really thinks about art in general:

(Robert Goren and Alex Eames are gazing at a Monet)
Alex Eames: It's beautiful.
Robert Goren: Yeah...Impressionists are too pretty.
AE: Right. You probably like those sweaty, naked people in the next room.
RG: Lucian Freud. As a matter of fact, I do.
AE: You can't put that stuff in your home. You can't live with it.
RG: Well, I'm not interested in living with it. I'm interested in... thinking about it.

(Champlain Museum Of Art Troy, New York)

Well then, let's think about Lucian Freud. Lucian Michael Freud, internationally acknowledged as one of the most important artists working today, is a British painter of German origin and also the grandson of Sigmund Freud. He came to UK in 1931. Freud's early paintings are often associated with surrealism. After 1950's he began to paint portraits including the fellow artists Frank Auerbach and Francis Bacon. The publicity-shy portrait painter is one of the best known British artists working in a traditional representational style, and was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1989. Also in May 2008, his 1995 portrait Benefits Supervisor Sleeping was sold in NYC for 33.6 million dolar, setting a world record for sale value of a painting by a living artist. For the works of Freud, please click: Lucian Freud Online

As an obssesive art collector, his grandfather Sigmund Freud, in his valuable collection Art And Literature including the subjects Shakespeare's Hamlet, Michelangelo's Moses, Hoffman's Sand Man, Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov etc. describes art as the only human endeavour that can bypass the intellect to manifest an approximate accompolishment of one's desire. The underlying assumption is that everyone resists revealing contents of the unconscious. Though Sigmund Freud once said 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!', he points out that along with dreams and free association, art is the way to unveil the darkness of unconscious and to express the destruction of libido. As we can clearly see in the works of Lucian Freud, it's a spontaneous effort to unchain imagination from the reality principle/superego/concious control. Consequently Robert Goren is interested in the art that helps him grasp the functioning process of Lucian Freud's brain rather than the art itself and this attitude alone helps us derive the hints of Goren's unconscious. According to Ayn Rand's The Romantic Manifesto (1969) art brings man's concepts to the perceptual level of his conciousness and it's man's metaphysical mirror. Hence she believes that by looking at what sort of concepts a man enjoys seeing/thinking, you can accurately judge the state of his soul. Lucian Freud's works have always been deprecated as cruel, violent and shocking and being an outsider, being shunned by society labelled his destiny. Robert Goren once confessed that he had felt ashamed because of his mother's mental disorder (Anti-Thesis - S02E03) and additionally defined himself as an outsider (Graansha - S02E21). In medicine, this situation is called homeopathy: Similia similibus curantur.

Let's get back to that cigar issue! Rene Magritte, a Belgian surrealist, in his painting The Treachery of Images, showing a pipe that looks as though it's an advertisement, wrote below the pipe 'This is not a pipe' (Ceci n'est pas une pipe). It seems a contradiction but it's exactly true as the painting is not a pipe, it's an image of a pipe and this perspective brings us back to Platon's Allegory Of The Cave statement (Similarly another philosopher Michel Foucault discusses the paradox of the painting in his book This Is Not A Pipe). As a conclusion; art is the painting of the unconscious. On the conscious level you may see an image of a cigar at a glance. From beneath the surface, your unconscious level controls and guides all aspects of your cognition. By the virtue of it; a cigar is not just a cigar, perpetually it has the potential of being a pipe (Speaking of art and as far as I'm considered, I like the works of MC. Escher ).

*The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (1990) Oliver Sacks