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Title: Elian Gonzalez Aftermath

Date: 2000

Size: 24" X 32"

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Comments: Based on a newspaper photo, taken after the abduction of Elian by the INS.

In The Aftermath of Elian Gonzalez there is a glint reflected off the eyeglasses worn by the man whose face is in a state of bewilderment - his eyes appear benumbed by the sight of a woman holding a fallen, blood-spilled man. Her upper body is poised in an arched question. Her total facial shaping seems to form a 'Why?', a beseeching softly warm secrecy in her eyes; a vulnerable innocence crafted on her face. At the same time her body leans forward boldly confronting the threat (the enemy?) with a paradoxical peaceful yet potentially fierce strength. In her eyes you see a combatant's look wedded to that of love.

The fallen man's blood-splattered garment is ornamented with striking hues. The blues are brushed into broad swept areas in contrast to the blood-red and pinks of spilled blood. These colors scream out the passions of the passing moments. The ornamented hues render visible the passion, not a cloth fashion. Then again, the painting becomes a silent scream, a muted man, a frozen moment of wound, terror, courage.

She is splattered with his blood: on her face, her neck, ear, her wrist, her hands and fingers which help to support him. The appealing dark clothing that she wears has already integrated the bloodstains of his battle deeply into the fabric of her dress. Behind her, the spectator wearing the round glasses that afford him the opportunity of viewing this scene. He will return home in clothing marked by another man's blood.

This surging passion, hurt filled, of two people related to one another, struck by abrupt and brutal violence, is witnessed in varying lights by the grand forms of the arts. Pablo Picasso's Guernica is a painting of white and black and gray motion, mayhem, and mourning. A woman, her head cocked upwards, her mouth widely open in anguish (scream) clutches her motionless child. This mother and child have been described as descendants of the thirteenth-fourteenth century wooden sculpture Pieta. The brightly painted sculpture, the Madonna with her blood soaked grown son, the sadness and stunned disbelief on her face; his emaciated body draped in deflated posture on his mother's lap, supported by her arms and hands; while his left arm extends across the crook of her left arm, and his right arm looselyt hands down, his hand torn in an explosive crucifixion wound. - David Rasey

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2002 by Arthur Cadieux. All rights reserved.