Metamorphosis

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Forever Connected

October 5, 2010

We walked amongst the work in the library, barely amateurs in understanding the wild and extravagant world of art. What does this mean? How is it expressed? Does this interest me? To pick only one of these pieces to describe and evaluate seemed impossible. I wandered through the art, contemplating my choice and secretly worrying, “Have I passed it? How will I know if it’s right? Can I do this?” But suddenly, at the far end of the library, there you were. How I had not heard you scream to me, I do not know. There you stood against the wall, breaking through the bland air of books and dust with color and life. I was drawn to you, like a moth to the flame, lightness to the dark. Oscar Luis Martinez painted you with oil paints and called you Metamorphosis. Instantly, my interest was sparked and I knew; you were perfect.

You caught my eye with your colors. Spanning from your direct center and up to the right, a nude female figure sits atop a red and green earthy surface. She has light brown skin with blue and yellow detail swirling in circles over her torso and upper arms, but on her arms and legs there is a darker wood-grain detail. Her hair is a fiery red and orange, fanning out to the very top of your expanse like the sun. Her knees are folded partly up to her stomach and her arms are spread against the earth. Interestingly, she has no fingers or toes. Instead, her limbs fade into roots, which extend and root her into the earth. Directly to her right is another human-like figure, perhaps female. She is curled up, facing away from my view. Her skin is a very faint pink except for her arm which is more of a faded yellow. Her torso is bare of detail, but she has dark blue and green swirls and stripes on her arms and legs. She also has roots instead of fingers and toes. I cannot see her head, maybe she does not have one, I am not sure though. Maybe roots have covered her head, it almost appears that way. Where this pink female lies, the scene behind her is much darker than to the left of the sun-like woman. There are some greens, but the majority of the area is a varying degree of purple. To the left of the sun-like woman, the scene is very green and blue. There are leaves below and above the surface and roots extending below. In your left corner, there is a glimpse of sky as though the rest of you is underground. The leaves above the ground are much larger and more detailed than those underneath the surface. Some of the leaves are almost as large as the figures. The colors are all vivid and cheerful. You are beautiful.

You drew me to you with your colors. Your entire face is bright and welcoming, but I was first drawn to the sun-like hair of the center figure. The bright reds and oranges of the fiery hair pushed out toward me, feeling warm. In contrast, the cool blues and greens of the leaves receded to the background, leaving the fire to shine through. Even as my eyes scan and take in the rest of you, the warm colors drag me back to them, almost selfishly attracting my attention. It seems to be the emphasis of your surface; the sun pulls all eyes to you and keeps them on you. You look so real as well. Your implied texture fools the eyes into believe you are more than canvas, but natural feeling yourself. The leaves seem sleek and shiny, just as if they were real. If did not know better, I would think that they were not painted there at all, but pulled from the forest and placed upon you. The texture of the hair appears so life-like I can feel it in my fingers even when only my eyes are on you. The roots of the female figures seem wood-like and grainy, but thin and coiled like the snaky roots of a tree. If anyone who sees you has felt the roots of a tree as I have, they will be amazed by how you bring that feeling back to them. I am not sure how he did it, how he made you so real, but I do know it is talent.

Not only did he have the talent, but Oscar knew exactly what he was doing and how to show you off. He used your color to bring an audience to you, and then he wowed them with your implied texture to keep them there. Those who see you stand and stare as they follow the path Oscar has given them, a map to experience your majesty. After my eyes see you, I follow the flowing path of the fiery hair to the folded arm of the pink female figure curled up. From there, my eye goes up her arm and then down the arch of her back, turning off to her folded knees. Her folded knee connects with the arms of the light brown female. I follow her arm up to her eyes, which lead me to look where she looks, to see what she sees. Then I find the leaves, the sky, the clouds, and the entire rest of the painting. It seems like an ingeniously planned roller coaster ride for the viewer to appreciate all of you. You are asymmetrically balanced. The right side of you feels heavier than the left, which attributes to the feeling of being underground on the left and seeing the surface on the right.

I do not believe anything could make you better, you fascinate me. He called you Metamorphosis, which I believe fits you perfectly and exactly. While I look from your left to your right, I feel the sensation of descending into the ground, and the human figures seem to me changing, going through a metamorphosis as they return to the earth from which they came. I feel that you, very colorfully and peacefully, depict death. The figure on the right seems further through the transformation back to the earth than the one in the center, perhaps meaning the female on the right is dead and the female in the middle is simple dying, or on her way to death. You show the happier, beautiful side of death. I do not feel sad or mournful of the female that has dead, but filled with appreciation for the earth around me. I live because of the earth, because of the bounty of food and protection it has given to me. As you show me, when my time here ends, I can be buried beneath the surface, into the soil that has supplied for me. I can become the roots for future life and to the life of the Earth, to give back to my home and provider even after my life has ended. To think of my life ending, as I start at you, does not sadden me at all. I am at peace with my fate. Thank you Oscar Luis Martinez, for he has brought you to me, and peace to my life.