“Garden of Eden”
8 feet x 4.5 feet, Gold leaf, Oil and Acrylic on canvas.
This piece is a metaphor for temptation and the world in which we live today. There are 13 animals within the piece, each with a purpose and a given fate. The python is tempted by the apple, which is a symbol of original sin. The sloth is tempted by slow-moving time. These drowsy tree-dwellers sleep up to 20 hours a day. Even when they are awake, they barely move at all, missing much of life and its constant change. The toucan doesn’t realize he has two predators at his rear, the green python and the cougar. He is joyfully flying towards the chameleon without looking back. The peacock is tempted by the death’s-head hawkmoth larvae. Although he may look delicious, he is venomous to birds and when threatened, they click their mandibles and try to bite their attacker. When they change from larvae to moth, a skull-like mark is apparent on its thorax. Two large moths were discovered in the bedchamber of King George III in 1801, during his second major incident of madness. The peacock also has the leopard as a predator. The baby chimpanzee has the python as a predator. The butterflies can be eaten by chimpanzees, pythons, tree frogs and chameleons. Although chameleons are near the bottom of the food chain and can be eaten by pythons, toucans and the baby chimp. The leopard is tempting the viewer with her unusual color and gaze. Is she friendly, or will she attack? The viewer is tempted by the setting as a whole. Is it inviting and fantastical or too good to be true?