oils on canvas
Black and white. Left and right. Up and down. Good and bad. Within and without. Man of knowledge and ignorant. Saint and sinner. Light and shadow. Head or tail. Angel and demon. You and me. All these, just ends of the same specter, equally distant from the center, similar in nature, different just in degree.
Most try to separate one from the other, preferring one for the other. Reality, though, is not listening to any of these preferences. Life goes on, with the Sun rising in the morning only to succumb in the evening. Day will give way to night, night to day. The order of things will never be broken, as long as there are things to begin with.
This painting is a reminder to this train of thoughts. The classical representation of the theater masks, with the powerful symbolism behind them, are the main actors on the cosmic stage that Earth is for us humans, with the bigger background of the entire Universe supporting it. The four elements are hinted at through different details: earth is present in the crumbling of the masks, water in the blue of the ribbon that ties the two together, fire in the eyes of both masks showing that the same passion is present behind every emotion, and finally air represented in the spirals on the ribbon.
There is one more symbol that is pivotal to this piece, namely the color of the curtain. At a first glance it is just as all theater curtains are. However, the meaning behind it is something drawn from the Buddhist point of view: that suffering is inherent in all existence. The overwhelming red, representing both passion and suffering, is the sublime stage upon which the entire existence unravels.
What might be considered a pessimistic point of view of life can actually be a liberating factor, in that it can unburden us from the tension created in our life due to different circumstances that, most of the time, are not under our control. It can teach us to cherish and show our appreciation to those close to us because we never know when they too will crumble away. It can teach us to enjoy the present moment by leaving aside, even if only for a little while, the prospect of tomorrow and the burden of yesterday.
The title is inspired by Frank Sinatra`s "That`s life".