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Art Explained: A Queen Bee

J. Antonio FARFAN

A Queen Bee


Acrylic, oil and gold leaf on linen

16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm)

Private Collection, League City, Texas

Deborah was of a warrior, a prophetess, a leader of all people and mentioned Biblically in the book of Judges, twice. Her relationship to early renaissance art is by way of Leonardo da Vinci, whose interest in her is portrayed theoretically as one of the lives of the woman depicted in the Mona Lisa painting. In the Hebrew language Deborah translates as BEE.

The heavy interest in medieval art, history and terminology gives rise to questions regarding icons and the use of color as language. In this painting, the terre verte, oxide green and olive colors visually connect with Leonardo’s famous painting, while the abstract forms highlight the elements of motion, unity, and the beauty of flight common in the actions and characteristics of this incredible flying insect. The micro world of the bee is extended to become a part of a larger macrocosm and thus envelope much of Farfan’s vocabulary on birth and motion. The use of circular forms significant of both ovum and the universe and the rounded figures were chosen to add a feminine quality to this body of work.

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