Dec 20 2011

#234 “The Big Picture”

From a stranger in an unknown place

When I first received this unusual looking wolf, I did not anticipate it becoming one of my all-time favorite pieces, but over the past several weeks this strange little illustration has secured an unrivaled place in my collection and in my heart. Even at a quick glance the overall shape of a wolf is obvious to grasp here, but a closer examine reveals a unique conglomeration of shapes and lines that no one would anticipate adding up to a gorgeous picture of a classic lupine subject. Try an experiment: Take your hand and isolate a section of the picture. Any section will do. Just make it so that you can only see a portion of the illustration. What does it look like to you? What can you distinguish? You will no doubt see a strange collection of seemingly random lines and shapes that are aesthetically pleasing in their strangeness and uniqueness, but you will certainly not see a wolf. And this is where the power of this illustration (and this artist) lies. The individual pieces of this picture seem unlikely to add up to the sum of their parts, and yet they do. All of this suggests that the artist behind this piece is a talented visionary and is able to see the forest in spite of the trees; she/he was able to view the big picture that all of the little lines and shapes would amount to. It’s quite remarkable really. In the end, this picture just goes to show how fantastic our brains are, both in terms of their ability to create and their ability to interpret. Shapes and lines. Drawn with pencil on plain white paper. Who would have ever thought?