THE PROMISE LAND by jean pronovost
A surreal landscape predominantly of greens and greys, a depiction of desolation interrupted with sudden, small bursts of bright orange flame. Prometheus unchained in the land of swinish prosperity! Could this dystopic, bleak, unsettling wasteland really be a promise land? Who promises this, and more importantly – why, and what for? This world appears as an Orwellian dreamscape vision, but is it a post-apocalyptic distant future or is this one we occupy here and now? This painting confronts you with challenging questions that cut right through the heart of existence as we live it – it’s a truthful butcher with a sharp blade pointed at your loins. Ask yourself: Are we the pigs endlessly gorging at earth’s banquet table, treating her beautiful bounty as an all you can eat trough, or are we grateful guests who share the meal, pass the gravy, and say please?
Allowing your eyes to peruse this artwork reveals that only one road is open to us, and what a picturesque road to paradise it is!? No doubt it must lead to green pastures and fields blooming with flowers under sunshine and blue skies! Focus firmly on this dream and the delusion will take over! Strolling along this twisting path through the promise land you meet a sweet scavenger tightly clutching a decapitated pig’s head and a pig-man figure greeting you with snarls. Is this a sign of peaceful coexistence or a prediction of the future where we are the feast for nature? Hard to tell but don’t stick around for supper! The fat pig to the far right holds a bottle in one hand and a staff entwined with a snake in the other – is this emblematic of medicine or money? Is he do no harm or is he big pharm? The cure to this quandary will cost you! Behind him there appears to be an ominous cavern – an unwelcoming spot of sanctuary that is utterly impossible to reach. Such solace we find in this paradise! Entering this shadowy cave brings on feelings of fear, much like the thought of retreating inside to the dark corners of our own minds? Oh, what monsters lurk in there!
Along this utopian roadway we see a modern skyscraper collapsing under the immense force of the bat wings that vibrate above it. Remnants of this tower burst into the sky forming a massive mushroom cloud of debris and then transfigure with the very wings that crush it. Oh, how mighty mankind has slumped (and coughed) before this meager flying mammal! This night pollinator that we think a malevolent plague creator was, for the ancients, a benevolent deity symbolizing the darkness necessary for all life under the sun. Has it really come to eradicate us or is it here to warn us that nature is out of balance?
Just below the metamorphic frenzy of bat, building, and sky are a range of mythic mountains in a constant fluxion of fluid rock and solid liquid. Radiating mysterious and ancient energy through the transubstantiating landscape, they hint at the many fantastic enigmas of this world that we have yet to understand! These monolithic elevations are timelessly present, so unlike the fragile impermanence of our towers and townhouses. Nestled almost invisible amongst these prehistoric formations, solitary and completely unperturbed, is the guardian of time who has witnessed our joyful macabre dance again and again. Whether in a waltz of life or a tango of death, we conquer the dance floor with a vicious vitality and a smile until our maestro declares last call.
Humans are an industrious, ingenious creature – we work so very hard at living better, longer, and sometimes fatter, while quietly and expediently shuffling everything else off this mortal coil! Talented, spirited, determined little piggies seeking out the most effective way to fry our own bacon with eggs.