Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Making The Pierogi" by Chris Doogan

Image posted with the permission of the artist. More about Chris Doogan and his art can be viewed at his website, and a larger version of this print can be viewed here.

This image immediately brought back memories from my childhood. Many of my Polish relatives grew up in and around Cleveland, Ohio. For years, my mother and her siblings made sausage from scratch. I remember her and her sister sitting at a kitchen table cutting up and sorting pounds of meat, fresh from a butcher. Meanwhile, their brothers worked an old meat grinder (which must have weighed a ton) in the basement. The smell of garlic and sounds of pleasant chatter permeated the air.

Such experiences produce a sort of in-the-moment happiness. The sort of happiness which occurs when we're engaged alongside others in a task with a repetitive flow, which also has a clear purpose in mind, and finished product to show for our efforts.

The women here are firmly situated in their task. They form a considerably solid composition: a symmetrical pyramid. Yet the bright, warm colors give a sense of the speed and agility of their hands. The expressive marks heighten that sense of movement, and add a hint of levity to the women's calmly focused expressions. They glow, like a fire. Something is happening here. Something is being created. Though the literal scene is mundane, the characters serene, this is life in its most essential form: movement and reproduction.

No comments:

Post a Comment