Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Home through a Different Lens

A month ago I posted my painting, My Father's Armchair; it described my childhood home from an angle I had discovered during the mourning period. This time I want to show you the same space from a different angle, and through a different lens; my father's. 

When he retired from his job as a principal safety engineer at Israel's Electric Company, he could focus with renewed energy on the activities upon which he thrived: poetry and art. So here is his painting, called Home:

There are three things which I find particularly interesting about this painting. The first one is the somewhat awkward perspective. He drafted the lines in a manner that makes them converge not in the distance--the way they normally do. Rather, the lines converge at a point below the painting, perhaps at the heart of the observer. Done this way, the entire scene seems to be placed at a higher plane, as if you look up at the memory of home.

The second thing which is interesting to me, is the fact that the space is divided. On the right side is my childhood home, complete with the painting hanging over the red sofa, the small rug underneath, and the gorgeous design, carefully detailed, of the persian rug that adorned the floor.  But then, on the right side, the shelves disappeared from view, the wall melted away to show the vision of an entirely different space: my father's childhood home! He remembered the red-brick fireplace, the warmth given off by the fire, and his mother's hand, rocking the cradle.

The third thing to note is the creatures incorporated into his world view. The moon shines upon the scene with great pity and compassion, but next to it is a dark, evil presence blowing cold steam upon the home. And through the window, a hungry wolf is peeking in from the dark. The wolf symbolizes the dangers awaiting  this baby when he grows up and goes out into the world. At the same time, the wolf is the name-sake of my father, Zeev Kachel, which literally means Blue Wolf. By painting this creature, my father says that he is, at the core, a danger to himself...

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"Home is not for the faint of heart. It is meant to reach deep inside the reader's soul"


  1. Remarkable sense of detailed imagination. A fine narrative to a wonderful work of art.

  2. I don't have a finer understanding of paintings , but yet I found this piece thought provoking...The various shades of creativity and the message passed on is absolutely remarkable...