Childhood with Ramon Chirinos
In this painting, Ramon Chirinos, a Venezuelan artist, incorporates movement and texture to show the relationship between memory and childhood. This painting’s abstract nature provides the viewer with a sense of magical wonder. Surrounded by translucent shades of yellow-olive, one finds pockets of colors that diverge from this scheme. In the upper-third corner, a celebration of light and warmth appears alongside outlined etchings of petals and wings. This portion of the painting encapsulates the uncontainable excitement of childhood. Occupying the first two upper-thirds, this portion appears to be fleeting-as if it might grow wings and fly away. Whereas the darker yellow-olive hues encircling the painting’s lowest third carries a sense of permanence; it is difficult to see beyond these semi-translucent shades of yellow-just as how some childhood memories fade. Yet the dark opening found in the center takes the viewer to a pivotal moment. The lack of light gives the impression of lost hope. Thus, Chirinos’s painting emphasizes the idea of childhood being a time one can fondly remember, and choose to forget.
Chirinos’s painting shows the depth of childhood. The centrality of the dark rectangular area shapes the piece as a whole. This section pulls the viewer inside. One feels as though they may fall into the dark cloudiness. Furthermore, the absence of soft colors contrasts with the theme of happiness. While this portion does carry a sense of magic, its magic contains the loss of hope found within an incident. Despite this, the textured presence of the painting’s upper left-hand corner embodies the innocence and happiness of childhood. The arrangement of different shapes and a pastel color scheme strengthens the experience of innocence. There is reason behind this happiness. In addition, this portion also embodies a sense of movement. Each element appears to be traveling across the canvas. While the painting does include a theme of loss and mild fear, happiness still remains prevalent.
Chirinos communicates the importance of innocence and happiness within childhood. This piece celebrates the magic and wonder of our early years and the pivotal moments that shape a person. At the same time, Chirinos does not ask viewers to gloss over negative moments, rather this painting warns viewers of the trap of being consumed by dark memories. While childhood does carry its unpleasant times, such experiences do not deserve the power of tarnishing the beauty of one’s past. Chirinos shows how an individual can find beauty within all aspects of their past-as eventually all memories will fade.
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