Brian Mouhlas
Swing / Towers
2015
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 in.
[Sold at HEDGE Gallery to Private Collector]

This painting presents the midst of a somewhat ambiguous event unfolding. It was painted from an image of a figure reaching a peak height while swinging on a swing set. This painting has a way of capturing that freeing sensation and can signify a sense of release or can stand in as a nostalgic tribute to a carefree past. I made the deliberate decision to paint the chain out, for the fact that the chain was symbolic of a holding one back or a grounding. This both freed the figure but also created a falling-like scenario. Reading further, the viewer begins to take in the rest of the painting and detects a background that contains faint suggestions of buildings, but two of these buildings more recognizable. The figure on the swing appears to almost collide into one of the buildings, due in part to the blending value of the ultramarine blue of the figure’s pant leg. Through this ambiguous event unfolding and the specific posture and information able to be comprehended, this painting has the power to allude to a much darker moment in our collective unconscious, the collapse of the twin towers. The interpretation of the event shifts from a freeing sensation to referencing the “The Falling Man” and the jumpers from the horrendous atrocity that was 9/11. The true nature of the painting is based entirely on the perspective of a viewer, relying very much on their psychological makeup.
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