By Dino Valls, Spain.
“As a physician especially interested in the human psyche, and as an artist, Dino Valls has always been fascinated by this intriguing issue: How do we mentally and consciously perceive our unconscious? Are some of the phenomena we perceive coming from outside of us living within us, unbeknownst to us, until we become aware of them?
Our physical and neural perception system has mechanisms for outside transmissions of the perception of external objects and events that we consider “external, foreign, alien, not-me.” We construct a mental picture or map of the external world from these transmissions and perceptions.
This has worked wonderfully for most of human history, leading to art and science, survival, and high culture, but it seems that now, through technology and the financial system, we’re tearing at the web of life on earth.
“In this painting, I’ve endeavored to synthesize the concepts and questions relating to our perception, which have always been fundamental in my art. In this work, these information flows, both receivers, and transmitters, that the human nervous system transmits are symbolically visualized by a complex play of threads and hair representing neurons and the biochemical processes that interconnect at our synapses. Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the godfather of neuroscience and a doctor born in Aragón like me, developed the modern doctrine of the neuron. He poignantly demonstrated that neurons must be viewed as individual cells connected through these synapses rather than forming a continuous brain tissue, “ stated Dino.
He received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1906 for his meticulous work and fundamental discovery. “Sinapsis,” the title of this painting, refers to the point of contact and transmission of the stimuli between neurons on the one hand and receptor, motor, or epithelial cells on the other. The theme of this work is a discussion of the two halves of the brain, not the left-right hemispheres, but rather the inner-outer layers where the external and internal worlds touch.
This work tries to depict their purposes and interactions, their relationship, and the transmission of information, both in the receiving sense and in the executing sense, representing these using four systems: one is the seven-colored threads, another is the hair of the female character, and the other two are the nerves, in one case the receptors of the senses, in the other case the motor and glandular ones. The scene is an artistic visualization and visualized hypothesis of how these processes work and contribute to our map of the world and our sense of self.