On page 235 of Tom Phillips’, “A Humument” Phillips suggests that the word alchemy of sex could be transcended into the meaning of love, a word derived with an inadequate meaning oppose to a word with greater meaning. In this piece, it deals with the topic of sex; by lust or by love. Sex usually occurs when two characters obtains lust for one another although specifically here, it happens with love involve. Sometimes when two characters have intercourse though, it only involves lust that both characters obtain for one another. Phillips also suggests that sex is real only when love for one another is real, symbolizing that love is truth. Overall when ‘sex’ is isolated, it indicates that there is no truth in the relationship but with love it introduces one into a whole new world.
First before the text, there are only five colors in this created ‘humument’; black, navy blue, sapphire, maroon and yellow. As well as five main objects that stuck out from the beginning. The half-circle shaped subject colored in yellow symbolizing a moon and the navy blue dominating background indicates that this piece takes place during the night. Towards the bottom of the piece are also two people, a man and a woman. The man is wearing a hat and is colored in maroon while the woman is colored in sapphire. Maroon is a deeper shade of red, and while red symbolizes love, the man in maroon can represent his deeper passion and love for this woman. This also goes along with the sapphire woman, where blue represents innocence and purity, sapphire which is darker than blue can also indicate this woman’s deeper innocence and purity. Also towards the end of the canvas is two stripes across colored in black, this may represent the finish line of the piece but it may also work as a censor, whereas it blocks out the naked features of the woman and the man; the chest and below the hips. This censoring may be to cover the viewers from a special time only for Phillips, to remember the feature aspects of the woman and what happened that night.
Tom Phillips also includes words throughout this piece. He begins with “meanwhile,” then there are dashes in white that goes on to the next word bubble. It continues, “Moonlight and the//crazy benches” in this word bubble, the word moonlight proves that this piece is taken place during the night and the benches that both the man and woman could mean that they are still outside, whereas they could be in a home. Then the character “toge” appears, a word created by Phillips to mean together. This could indicate that he must have been a lonely man, how he shortens the word ‘together’ into just “toge” but it can also indicate that he was not with her for a longer period of time. After “toge” it connects to the next word bubble, “At last, felt her//forest.” This break indicates that he’s gotten closer to the woman, close enough to finally touch her. In this piece, the forest can represent one thing on her body, hair; either the hair on her head or the bush by the waterfall (Genius). The story continues “dearer to him now than,” during this time it seems that he has already inserted himself into her because it is dearer to him now, indicating that it is a memory that’ll last a lifetime. Then Phillips adds “Broken syllables which are//for lovers signs” this may be indicating that as time passes by, she moans out some word but as she inhales it might be broken up but it seems that it’s a sign to him that she may be talking about love. As it goes on, Phillips begins talking about a world, “world; //world’s// gerating// alchemist, //topsy-turvy//passionate//baldest and most//real,” Phillips may be talking about a “world” that is pleasurable, while he is in constant spinning motion with his woman now exchanging anything with each other as “passionate” as possible, it is also at “baldest,” indicating that both can be naked and finally “real,” that they’re love is real. This may be all incorrect and the couple is probably just sitting on a bench, as the black stripes may be the bench for the back to lean on. It is also noticeable that the woman’s head is also facing up as the man faces the woman. Though still, everything he feels is still real to him because despite everything, love is what he feels for the moment.
In the end, Phillips may be saying that sex with love can take one on a journey to a new world, since it makes one feel something one has never felt before. It is a time where one will always remember as well and that it should only be between the two people involved instead of revealing it out to others. Also, going back to what the black stripes refer to, it can symbolize the end of something.