Thursday, August 23, 2007

Carol Marine: Four Eights


These orange segments appear to be closer to the mental image, that of the memory and imaginative reconstruction, than to the original, realistic one. We do not see the natural segmentation, or almost any signs of fiber, which should be visible from that distance. Instead, there is the emphasis on strong lines, straight or arched, which enclose overruling any details areas of orange of varying value -- features that denote a geometrical schematic representation -- the first step towards abstraction. The artist's delivery shifts from accurate visual representation of objects towards their mentally processed counterparts. Perhaps, this tendency merely reflects how the artificial cutting into sections overrides the natural division of the fruit. The artist balances on the line that demarcates genres. This painting becomes a generic fusion, with overtones of cubism, fauvism and expressionism.

The colors are a visual feast. They are bright, and even flashy. Yet the artist avoids loudness; I think that the radical viewing angle adds symbolic humility to this piece -- the colors are very self-indulgent, or even self-absorbed, but the viewers are compensated by their lofty position, the literal ability "to look down" upon the scene. On a similar note, the colors may appear to be hiding something, but the aerial view does not let them, providing maximal exposure. If there ever was a need for justification of such angles, this could be it. There is a complex equilibrium between the rich palette and the ascetic perspective, as radical foreshortening tames the colors. This effect contributes the the inner unity that this luminous work projects. Interestingly, the composition plays only a minor role, as if trying not to get in the way of the other players.

A comparison comes to mind: the orange is not far from the color of gold and, considering the title of this painting, the fruit parts may appear to replicate golden pieces of eight. Now that may not seem such a far fetched hypothesis if you recall how coins were checked for authenticity. By teeth -- practically, by taste. However, when you are sailing into a months long pirate campaign, your teeth may all fall out because of scurvy. And the best way to treat it is to consume fresh fruit, especially vitamin C rich citrus fruits, such as oranges. You see, it is all connected... Conclusion: don't sail unprepared. You may end up exchanging all your pieces of eight for a piece of orange. Just like the one depicted here.

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