“Caged Reality”

Gold. So many people view it as a symbol of stability and financial security. Even a small nugget of it is enough to inspire emotions and initiate actions.

But let’s not confuse the pursuit of wealth with the pursuit of happiness. Money buys opportunities and time, but it can’t bring you happiness… and while you’re building stronger fences to protect yourself from the dangers of the world, be careful that those fences don’t complete a square and you end up in a cage.

This composition subverts the “gilded cage” parable, by using laser-cut acrylic frames to symbolize the high-tech, plastic, transient nature of the modern world. Plastic credit cards, plastic lips, plastic clothing, plastic bags, plastic personalities, plastic talking heads on the TV, plastic everything.

As natural and real things disappear, plastic takes over. And between the walls of plastic, there are those gold nuggets we’re all searching for…

Another layer of interpretation is the choice of colors symbolizing the interactions of different generations. In the first panel, the gray (grandparents) are supporting the optimistic blue of the child. In the next panel, the blue is transformed by the stresses and problems of adulthood into black. The final panel shows the adult supporting the gray grandparents, giving back the care and attention they received as a child.

And the cycle repeats, again and again, for thousands of years.

 


 

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"Caged Reality" - 3D Mixed-Media Composition by Tammy Carmona
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