This is a review of the sold out series
ESSAY ON THE SECRET LIFE OF PEARS
by Sirrus Poe (VLQ Fiction Editor)
Ah, the ability of an artist to tell us a story with the delicate movement of the bristles of his brush. There is such a thing as not having to say anything to get your idea across, a strange concept for those of us who use words to form lines of poetry, or sentences to help push along a story. Joe LaCorte does this with precision and skill with this collection of oils that portray the human condition through the ability of giving life to inanimate objects such as the pear.
The pears here are of different shapes, colors, and movement and in these human characteristics give the person taking in these works a chance to step back and contemplate the life contained. Not the actual life of these pears, but of our own life and the way we interact with one another. We are able to see the reflection of ourselves and those around us within these brush strokes, and it is not always a picture of perfection. As life shows us each day, through day to day headaches, to war, to lost love and ridicule these pears attempt to let us stop for a moment and consider what choices we make in our own lives.
Let us look at these oils one at a time to see what may be found of us and the world in general.
THE EMBRACE causes the one taking in the piece to feel and experience many different emotions. This is achieved through the use of color and the ability of LaCorte to make us see the pears as humans. Notice the subtle curves of the pears and the way that they both meld into one another. You can see arms extended and wrapping around the other; even though, we know there are none to be found. But it is this sense of extra images that gives the piece its power.
The colors here were picked for specific reasons, to portray even more the image of an embrace and why we dive into this action at certain points in our lives. We can see the light folds of clothe in the background and that which covers the table, giving a sense of sadness, like that of attending a funeral of someone close. The embrace gives comfort here for each pear/person and with that fallen soul in the background we remember the moments that caused us to embrace others close to us, or even those we barely knew.
THE CLIQUE again has the use of color to combine pears together that are different, yet in some way the same because they hang together. And the caption below, which really is unneeded for each of these pieces to understand them, only drives home the sense of wanting to be included, but also wanting the ability to remain to be different.
DANCING PEARS gives us a lighter mood. The mellow greens and faded edges lend movement to a piece that should cause us to want to move. Do not be fooled that this is only about a dance of the every day variety, but that of our lives. Again, the caption enforces the piece by letting us know that there is more to dancing than the action. We have to take the time to savor each step, each swing, each dip and rise of the dance. All of us are dancing in our own way and partaking of the dance is what makes each of us unique, yet again, the same. Life is a dance that one will never fully learn to master.
GOSSIP is yet another aspect of life we cannot escape. Once again, take in the colors of the pears, each their own hue of red and green. They are a mixture of pears talking about others regardless of color, form or ideas. The reality is that each of us will participate in such activities and not think twice about what we say. The "them" in the caption is in the end ourselves.
THE CONFLICT is one that we have to consider a bit more than the others. Notice the group beyond watching the main pears in their issue of conflict. I do not see this as only a conflict that is an all out fight, but more of the conflict of relationship. In other words, the relation of how we feel compared to that of another person. The two pears in front are face to face, yet their stems have not yet come down to blows and their leaning stance not only leads us to think about a fight, but to two people who are butting heads, either in an actual sense or that of the relationship of two people. This relationship does not have to be love, or lust, or even sexual in nature, but the relationship of human to human, the relationship of all humanity. There is also the appearance of the internal conflict presented here. If we look at the two pears in front we see that they are practically mirror images of one another. There is a sense of one being conflicted within and being unable to win that fight on what decision should ultimately be made. We all struggle to decide what we should do in every day situations and in times of general strife, but the conflict is a part of our lives that is needed. Regardless of the outcome, we grow and learn through the final choices that we make.
LEAVING presents itself as the most affecting piece in the collection. There is so much to be taken away from the piece that attempting to explain what it tells us seems unneeded. Each person will bring their own events into the piece and come away with their own story of what exactly the "leaving" entails. A person can see the ending of a relationship that both partners regret letting die, but still cannot hold on to, or a person can also attempt to take away a brighter light of the event as if the act of being together was what counted and those memories will not die after the "leaving". Live in the moment of being one, in bad and good times, let that oneness be the most important thing that binds two people together, do not look toward the leaving, but embrace the time.
POLAR PEARS is the final oil we have a chance to appreciate in this collection, but it holds the chance to reflect on what has come before. As the caption requests, "relax", reflect on the possibility of the images and how each one takes into account some part, some emotion of us as a people. Not only as a lone figure, but the idea that we are connected more than we realize during most days and that regardless of the outcome of our relationships to one another the cycle will continue. Our goal should be to embrace each other, dance through the steps that will always be there to learn and in the end, relax in yourself, and be a part of life.