"Animal Web: A Tribute To Authors,
EB White and George Orwell"
My entry for the
February 2017 EBSQ online "Opposites" exhibit features a whimsical little
fantasy piece painted in loving tribute to two of my favorite authors: EB White, of
'Charlotte's Web', and George Orwell, of "Animal Farm". Both authors
were talented, highly esteemed, caucasion, of similar age (born only a
few years apart), and writers of fiction. Both wrote sweeping,
captivating tales regarding farms -- specifically featuring complex and
endearing characters who happened to be pigs. However, the similarities
between the two men and their fiction likely mostly ends there -- and
not only because one was American and the other British. Both used
their porcine protagonists to weaves two very different tales indeed.
EB White's beloved "Charlotte's Web" narrates the story of unity,
cooperation, and friendship -- plus what I always personally interpreted
as strong, optimistic message as to the value of Nature, and of animals, and of
anti-cruelty in general. And all within the sweet setting of a
peacefully idyllic, mid-century farmstead. George Orwell's "Animal
Farm", however, though also set against the backdrop of a picturesque
farmstead, spins a very opposing narrative. Orwell used his setting
and plot to outline an allegorical and cautionary story about the rise
of Soviet communism and of the brutal dictatorship of Joseph Stalin.
His pigs are far from sweet, passive characters -- they are highly
manipulative creatures who get up to some very nasty things. The intimidate and oppress their fellow farm-mates ("All animals are
equal, but some are more equal than others"). They threaten and
cajole, assail and even engage in violence -- a much darker yarn for sure. "Charlotte's Web" and "Animal Farm", two classic and much
beloved modern-day fables about intrepid pigs living on farms, that
really couldn't be more 'opposite'....
(Note: In the spirit of creative re-use, this painting support was hand-fashioned using a re-purposed old 10x12 wood frame. I like to upcycle previously used, second-hand materials that might otherwise make their way to the landfill into my creative process whenever applicable)....
~Click here to read my blog post~
Animal Web: Oils on 10x12 handmade painting support
EB White and George Orwell with their pigs....
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