A Historical Landscape of War
Following the Iliad-cycle, where Cox sets violence and thoughts of revenge as central motifs, he begins a complimentary series inspired by Mozart's 'masonic' opera The Magic Flute in 1976. The adagio states, "Sei standhaft, duldsam und verschwiegen (‘be steadfast, forbearing and discrete')" to elevate man by having him long for love and freedom, encouraging him to use human excellence and justice as weapons against the blind madness and violence that have brought unhappiness and misery to many generations. For this project, Cox only made a few sketches and paintings titled after the characters of the opera: Monostatos, Papageno, and Sarastro. The name Monostatos is derived from the Greek ‘mono-statos’, meaning ‘standing alone’, or ‘the isolated one’. Embodying the dark and destructive, in Mozart's opera, the Moor Monostatos is traditionally represented as a villain completely given over to his unbound libidinous impulses. In Monostatos, Cox evokes a threatening atmosphere with hellish colouring and an aggressive execution of lines.