|"The Tree Of Good & Evil"|
If you've seen an Adam and Eve painting before, then there are some familiar elements that you immediately recognize in this piece: like the large fruit tree, a partially exposed Eve, and the serpent wrapped around the tree; but if you look closely there are a couple of things in this particular painting that stand out, like the mirror in her right hand and the bitten apple in her left hand.
The tree is neutral and bares the potential for so much good; it and its fruit are the culture.The tree is not inherently bad, but gross consumption of its fruit can lead to a serious distortion of our self-image. It's ok to glean from the tree, but to gorge on the tree can be detrimental. To have wants and desires is fine but when you cross the line into lust, you go from having desires to desires having you.
The snake here represents evil and excess in the culture. The problem is that the snakes of our culture aren't always obvious, they are sly and cunning and their venom poisons the identities of those who look to the surrounding culture to determine their self-worth. The snake uses subtlety and suggestion, and its one thing to reflect the positive aspects of our society, but it's another to become a total clone of the culture, a snake-bitten victim of utter identity theft.
There are other areas of this painting, like the fog, that also hint at aspects of self-identity, but I will leave them to you, the viewer, to interpret them how you see them. As always I look forward to the response the painting fostered within you; what do you think about the elements that I've highlighted in this painting? Do you have a different interpretation of this painting in general and the very real aspects of our modern culture that it speaks to? Please leave your comments and I thank you for visiting.