Empire of Dreams by Michael Whelan
EMPIRE OF DREAMS (2005) by Michael Whelan http://www.michaelwhelan.com
Acrylic on Gessoboard - 28" x 22"
A world of concrete works in disarray, thrown about by some unknown cataclysm. The figure in the image realizes that safety lies not in hiding in darkness but in facing reality, seeking light, and acquiring knowledge. It is only with knowledge and the advantages of a greater perspective that one can hope to overcome obstacles.
(quoted from his website about this image)
Let us repeat that last sentence:
It is only with knowledge and the advantages of a greater perspective that one can hope to overcome obstacles.
Not to mention the fact that looking at this, it just sings of hope. Most of his paintings do, actually. Quiet, persistent and luminous hope. And mostly, amongst the wreckage of a desolation. It's quite plain to me 8)
Here is what I was getting at yesterday - yes, I am interpreting how I feel when I look at it. But the crux of the issue is this - I am actually looking at something. Recognizable images, tied together with actual symbolism (color usage, composition manipulation and of course (and most importantly) subject.)
Someone who is trying to shill you bullshit over an abstract will tell you that a painting like this cannot be interpreted by the viewer because it's realistic and the story is "obvious". (I have heard these actual arguments many, many times.) Well, we all know now what I think about that. :3