The red twilight, the turning point, is manifested in the female figure, plunged to the ground by three men – who represent the night. The child symbolizes the vulnerable remaining rays of the sunlight. The moon, which represents the illumination in Heraclit’s model, lights the way through the darkness and reappears as the lantern brandished by one of the soldiers.

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One of the gifts of Aleah Chapin’s body-of-work is the idea that true intimacy is achieved first and foremost by revealing oneself honestly. That through vulnerability we are able to deeply connect. One’s imperfections can actually make connection with others deeper, stronger. More real.

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What are the characteristics of love, after all? Attention, care, affection, eros, mystery, joy, comfort, fear, unity, possession, passion, sincerity. And yes, these are all characteristics of the emergent experience of great art. And the artist’s hand which shapes with care shares all these things.

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I’ve always been drawn to and intrigued by stories that are a bit twisted; the ones containing strange characters and a prevailing sense of impending danger. Perhaps that’s why my paintings often carry a similar feeling. There’s always an aspect of something unknown about to happen. The story is never fully revealed, it simply continues on, each painting serving as the next page or chapter.

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“Fantasy by definition is an escape, and it was a way for me to avoid difficult situations and emotions in my adolescence; however, I don’t think of reading as escapism. I think the activities of daily life are more commonly an escape from difficult or strong emotions. It’s in literature and art that one can usually come into more direct contact with those things. That’s why art is so fascinating. Even fantasy books, ironically.”

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The artist exiled from his home created a theatre of characters in his imagined world, armed, beaten, and alienated, caught in conflict, ritual, love and rest; the afflicted and exhausted; these abandoned self portraits of a bloodied Nerdrum, cast as criminal, then as a weary man whose companions are outcasts, mutilated and war-torn, abandoned to the stern, severely beautiful landscape. We find the dead and the dying here, the victims of the aftermath, a record of the conflict between survivors and their struggle against despair.

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