Sunday, April 14, 2013

Couple in Love 2006

This painting is a love story, but one with a sad ending.  When this couple was young, they lived in India, and came together as the result of an arranged marriage.  They subsequently moved to the United States, had two children, and worked, both successful professionals, well loved in the community.  He was outgoing, fearless, and knew and helped a wide range of people because of his profession.  He was a great one for practical jokes, and loved telling the story of accidentally super gluing his hand to the steering wheel of his car as he drove to work one morning.  She was quiet, but extremely capable, and, we all knew, the one that worked behind the scenes to make everything right.  She loved laughing at his silly jokes and pranks.

They raised their children, created a beautiful home, and seemed  in love, giving credit to the very foreign idea, to us, of making a relationship work that wasn't initially based on love.  Then the bad news:  he was diagnosed with  cancer.  At first it looked good, surgery and chemo, and he seemed to be recovering.  We sighed with relief. A few years went by, all was good, their son married and had two beautiful grandchildren, but then, the cancer came back.  All that could be done was done, but, too late.  The cancer spread, and after a period of time, he died.  She was left a widow, bearing her loss with great dignity and respect.  We mourned for both of them.

Her body is made up of a beautiful tree house he had built on their property for their children.  His body is made up of sticks and twigs, dried and broken, and rusted spring coils--all metaphors for the cancer.  When I did the piece, I wasn't aware of where I was going, just that I was building the image using what I had at hand.  When I was finished, looking at it, I suddenly realized what I had done: all the way from the pink of the woman and the blue of the man--I had made a portrait that was a snapshot in time, of their love, of his condition, and of her being the one that housed the relationship.

2 comments:

  1. so beautiful and heartfelt <3

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  2. Thank you for sharing this with us! It resonates so profoundly with me and the many others that have been touched by cancer. This work is exquisite without the backstory and even more beautiful with it.

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