Yesterday I shared photos from my vista to the Pera Museum to see the Warhol exhibition. One of the other artists whose work was on display was Stephen Chambers. This enjoyable exhibition provided a survey of over two decades worth of the artist’s work.
One wall was dedicated to showing his large work The Big Country. (Yes, Gen-Xer that I am, I was promptly afflicted with the ear worm from that 80’s band.)
The Big Country is a collection of inter-linking panels with little stories depicted in one panel or across several panels.
It’s inspired by the Gregory Peck-starring movie of the same name from 1958. I’ve never seen the movie.
Several other works were exhibited including, Harvest (of heads?!)
Scissors. You won’t be needing those wings now, will you…
My favorite was The Indestructible Tree.
Among the works were a few commissioned specifically for this exhibition. Each piece was inspired by a different part from the Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Twelve Proverbs.
“To play dice at the wrong time, to keep drinking when he is drunk, impoverishes man’s name and makes him stink.”
“In one hand I carry fire, in the other water. With chatterboxes and gossips I keep my mouth shut.”
“No matter what I pursue I never reach it, I always piss against the moon.”
Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep,He hath awaken’d from the dream of life;‘Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keepWith phantoms an unprofitable strife,And in mad trance, strike with our spirit’s knifeInvulnerable nothings. We decayLike corpses in a charnel; fear and griefConvulse us and consume us day by day,And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.
Specifically the “unprofitable strife” and “cold hopes” bits. Yet the figure of the dog and the light colors bring a smile to my face as I contemplate those bleak words.