So I'm standing in the parking lot below Angel's Landing and this climber tells me that he thinks he sees some anthropomorphic image in the varnish on the northeast face, and he asks me, "that's the prodigal son, isn't it?"
I explained to him that I named the route Prodigal Sun because it quickly goes into the shade.
It's true, Jefe. And the gathering of the sheaves began some while ago. The process is sort of alchemic, you know, and takes ingredients. But right now and for everyone's benefit, let's go look at one of the images being brought to bear:
Basically, Ron, this Photoshop image was developed from a Great White Shark image then turned vertically and a not terribly unusual image from Patagonia, in layers and with stretching of the shark obviously to turn him into a Cerro Torre-like tower. Mountains such as Cerro Torre are so extreme in appearance and thus so deadly-seeming that sharkifying a mountain, or mountainizing a shark, is interesting and hopefully has curious and disturbing resonance or simile to it. I did not have a crocodile in there at any point, but surely one could develop in the process of all the photoshopping, certainly without intention.
That the image is not simply objective but instead ambivalent or ambiguous is crucial.
You're a taxidermist and your task is to be as true as possible to the real, living, breathing exciting animals you mount, but other artists have different tasks and in some cases getting the final work to contain complex human comment on a bunch of levels at once instead is the task of their successful work.
I humbly suggest one refrain from dissecting an artist's work and serving slices back to the master. Rather, take in the whole of it, and let it work its magic on you. At the end of the day it doesn't matter what Peter's intention was, nor your reception of it. What matters is there, for a brief moment, artist and viewer created something unique in all the universes, never to be recreated. Savor it, and be thankful for the emotional rescue.