Monday, August 16, 2010

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Here's an artistic puzzle for you.

One of my favourite videos on the net is this cute one of a Mum showing her very young daughter how to dance - the music is Nouvelle Vague's version of "Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn't Have Fallen In Love With". Apart from being fun to watch, it's a scene of a parent enjoying life with their child (two children, actually) in the security of their own home.

Now, if you go to that YouTube page, a couple of links will take you to the website of the artist Sophie Collier. (I don't know if she's the Mum in the video).

And there's a painting that's a puzzle. It's called "The Black Swan Problem and Ms Collier describes it as follows:

The Black Swan Problem references a theory put forth by 18th Century Scottish philosopher David Hume. In asking "how many swans does one need observe before inferring that all swans are white..." he points to our tendency to create general rules based purely upon what is factually observed, since we cannot easily or immediately see what is happening elsewhere.

At first glance, this painting depicts an imagined, seemingly inviting and safe refuge of a father and daughter watching the box in opulent and comfortable surroundings. But this is misleading: upon closer inspection there is a less predictable view to be teased out.

The painting has now been shortlisted for stage 2 of the John Moores Painting Prize for 2010

Here's a small image of it - for a bigger version click here.

So this is a scene that's superficially similar to that video - parent and daughter in the security of their own home - except we are told there are other things , perhaps more weird , to be found.

I'm trying to work it out - I've spotted a couple of things so far. Can anyone else see anything?


Hywel said...

It seems to be a wolf and sheep/lamb rather than the two dogs that initially appear to be the case.

The way the sofa is positioned to block the door so no-one can get in (or possibly out) - it would seem to have been deliberately moved there because it is at a very odd angle to the TV

Chris Black said...

Yes- and look at the time on the clock....

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