Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Bajo la Sombra" (Under the Shade) by Maria Arango Diener

Image reposted with permission of the artist. Learn more about Maria Arango Diener's work and check out her very reasonably priced work on her blog 1000 Woodcuts.

The tree bows, the human bows, but who do they bow for? The tree reminds me of bonsai trees at the Bunjae Artpia on Jeju Island in South Korea. I used to think of bonsai trees as tiny little things, but the ones on Jeju Island were mostly human-sized or larger. Being an animated being, it is logical to assume that the person in the print bends for the tree. But art is not logical, so I must also consider that the tree bends to compliment the human's pose. Perhaps they bend for each other, a reciprocal relationship, yin and yang. There's something wonderfully strange about their equal weight. The person seems to be both sheltered by the tree, and somehow also in the foreground in front of the tree. A subtle conflict between the objective truth of the natural world and our subjective, human perspective. We are not the center of the universe, but more often than not it sure feels like we are.

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