Collector ThreadBear is taking over curator duties for our weekly exhibit this week. He’s given us a very personal view into his collection and what each piece means to him. To read our interview with ThreadBear about his collecting habits, finding new artists, and the art that shakes him to his core, click here.
This piece struck me instantly when I saw it. It not only evokes the impression of expiration for when the ultimate end comes, but it also gives a sense of personal development and changes throughout one’s life, as depicted by the butterfly’s metamorphosis.
The piece is based upon a preliminary version of the image used as a cover for “Sleeping Beauties,” written by Stephen King and his son Owen King. The artist, Federico Bebber, even changed a portion of this image for me after we discussed the “meaning” of the piece.
This piece has resonance and meaning for me for obvious reasons. During the pandemic, the examples of lawlessness and anarchy that we saw break out across the globe were quite disheartening. The George Floyd killing will serve as a brutal and seminal moment in American culture, but this image for me is about stoicism, perseverance, and fortitude. It may seem rather controversial to some, and to others, it might convey a sense of injustice; but at the end of it all. We are all essentially the same human family.
One has to take a close look at this image to see the amount of work that has gone into creating the atmosphere of despair. Many will know and appreciate how it feels to experience desperation, but as the accompanying description of the piece cites:
“Despair – He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.”Aeschylus.
When I first saw this image (GIF), it resonated with me so much that it gave me goosebumps! This image depicts exactly what I mean when I talk about “slings & arrows,” as articulated and reinforced by its creator:
“This art was created when I was searching for myself and was very broken by life, and my thoughts were strongly mixed with my feelings at that moment. Life was hitting me too hard, but I was ready to fight to the death because I felt like I was still alive. There are no words to describe any feelings, so I decided to speak through art…”Elijah O’Donnell
The artist Krishna VR has captured the sense of loneliness in this piece that transcends the screen. There is also a dichotomy here whereby the runaway wants to get away from it all and escape her life, but at the same time feels compelled by the inherent need to regain contact with those for whom she cares. Essentially, it is a story about hope above all things.
I chose this piece because of its destructive message and resonance, as it’s a subject matter that has devastated my family in the past. We all deal with life’s tragedies the best way we know how, and in so doing, we can temporarily alleviate the pain but also ultimately exacerbate the harm.
As the title suggests, this is about the power and will of the human spirit: there will always be obstacles in our way, but how we react to them is key. Stoicism conceals many a broken heart.
I love the imagery that Rodion has created here. The sense of the religious is evident, but for me, it’s also a sense of the failure of religion and faith as a whole to address the key questions and ills of the modern day. The subject’s adherence and devotion to faith have consequently blinded her perspective. ‘Prayer at the edge of Universe’ speaks to the need for belonging and the meaning of life elsewhere, beyond our worldly realm.
I don’t own this piece by Indrani, but it seems to fit in with the narrative here where Indrani quotes from Mary Oliver’s ‘The Uses of Sorrow’:
"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift."