Tuesday, June 3, 2014

An open letter to Hanna Yata

Throwing up the Children
Image used with permission of the artist

Did I ever tell you how I am transfixed by a painting of yours from a few years back entitled "Throwing up the Children." Here's my take on it:

Your image is a perfect metaphor of how our human addiction – our insatiable appetite to gorge on everything in sight – has now reached pathological proportions, causing us to choke and vomit up the too-many-to-swallow corpses of our fellow sentient beings who we are plunging into mass extinction.* Of course, like all addictions, the endgame is clear: like lemmings jumping off a cliff, we are also guaranteeing our own demise. 

Your painting is like a Zen koan, a paradox to be meditated on:

On one hand, these innocent nymphs, Mother Nature's angels, throwing up their children is such a desecration, a horrific image of a world turned upside down; yet, on the other hand, your painting has a beatific dimension, portraying a rapturous scene that feels like it is out of the Garden of Eden.

* According to Wikipedia, the current, human-driven extinction rate may be up to 10,000 times the background extinction rate.

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