Emergiendo with DeAngel
Many of DeAngel’s works blend naturalism, surrealism, and hyper-realism, much of which we can credit to his extensive education in the arts and passion for mixing genres. In Emergiendo, the burst of color not only adds dimension to DeAngel’s painting, but movement of the subject herself. We might imagine that, in her escape, she is leaving behind an unknown violent past and, like a newborn, emerging into untouched newness. The only things covering her body are the bandages wrapping her limbs and torso sparingly.
DeAngel represents the lasting effects of the woman’s trauma through the blood from which she seems to be emerging. The stark juxtaposition of the red blood and the white background emphasize just how scarring her past experience has been, and how evident these scars are even to those around her. The prominence of her figurative scars is also highlighted by the fact that she is naked except for her sparse bandaging. It’s as if DeAngel is communicating that people no longer see her for herself, they only see the evidence of her trauma. The difficulty this attention causes for her is reflected in the contorted position we see her in as she emerges from the blood. With this position, DeAngel tells the viewer that the lasting effects of the woman’s trauma and the attention paid to them by others are both making it challenging for her to move on with her life.
With this painting, DeAngel challenges us to reflect on how we view trauma and the people who have lived for it. He reminds us that victims of trauma should not be defined by what they have been through, but instead by their essential humanity that perseveres no matter what has happened to them. He also reminds that if we forget this, we are complicit in their trauma, as we are preventing them from moving on and fully recovering.
What do you think of this painting?
I love your analysis, not only about the emergence from it, but also the role trauma has on our lives.