Tuesday, May 12, 2020

New painting for my Kerala, India series

In 2018 I had been working on a new painting for my Kerala, India series. As I was making some final edits, my iMac started corrupting my files whenever I saved and I got thrown into trying to figure out how to fix it. Luckily I had an older version of this painting to work from but I never had a chance to get back to it until recently.

I didn’t know what this piece was going to be about when I started, but I was flipping through some of the amazing photos that Marily Scaria took on one of her trips to India, and this one stood out to me. It started off as a portrait of this old man but I was intrigued by the thin stick he was carrying and how he‘s using that to train an enormous elephant. This concept resonated with me I connected it to the topic of anger, especially anger in men.

The elephant could be a symbol of a person’s inner anger, his inner beast. This man is old, experienced, has seen a lot, has been through a lot. And he has...not so much controlled his anger or subdued it...but harnessed it. Disciplined would also be another good way to describe it. What I like the most about this is that the elephant’s tusks are not cut off or sanded down. He didn’t kill his anger or tame it down from an elephant to a puppy dog. I think that kills a man’s psychology. Instead, he’s ready to call upon it at any moment and put it away quickly.

Anger is a powerful force that can do a lot of good when used in the right way, as a tool for self-motivation or to protect what you love. Like any other emotion, it can be used incorrectly and selfishly. This old man figured it out, the balance of it all.

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