On the graffitied back wall, we have the large white letters ‘QI’ representing chi-energy as well as the reverse version of ‘IQ’ alongside the pink lettering of ‘Plato Boys’.
Layered over these, there is green wording in Spanish, which translates to the famous Socrates quote ‘I only know that I know nothing’ by the ‘Soco crew’.
The light bulb has the number 42 on it which if you are familiar with ‘Hitch Hikers guide to the galaxy’ was their answer to the meaning of life.
There is a ‘To be’ on the wall which is beside the ‘Cola Confucius’ can which has written upon it ‘not to be’. Since the cans are ‘not to be sold individually’, the existential statement seemingly comes up – ‘to be or not to be?’…
Amidst the detritus is an interestingly created CD – the Hayden symphony 22 is titled ‘The Philosopher’, it can be found be on the ‘Naxos’ label but Paul has called it the Quaxos label and this must surely be the eclectic compilation series judging as it is twinned with the 1970’s ‘Disco Duck’ by Rick Dees and his band (the Cast of Idiots).
The graphics of 2 ducks is taken from the saying in bingo where 22 is referred to as 2 little ducks.
The coins in the foreground are ‘I Ching’ coins used in Confucius readings.
The rumpled paper has a series of questions and comments that relate to the subject matter – one should also take heed of the warning on the cigarette packet.
The ‘Sator square’ on the left hand side of the wall is a two-dimensional word square containing a five-word Latin palindrome which is ancient and mysterious and has featured in magical contexts. The five words can be translated to mean ‘The sower with his plough, holds the wheel with care’.
The ruler and piece of string at the front left-hand edge relate to the saying ‘how long is a piece of string’.
There are other details within the painting which are fascinating to explore closely. ‘Charlie’ would appear to be on a quest for wisdom and in search of the meaning of life.