VIDEO: Hidden meanings in “Cloud Tree” (and other works) by Stanislav Plutenko
October 15, 2020
EWFA owners Olga and Leeza Arkhangelskaya are launching video blogs on all things are related – from art appreciation topics like the hidden meanings and symbolism in paintings, to more practical advice on selecting a perfect frame. Stay tuned!
In this Blog, we will explore the possible meanings behind three of Stanislav Plutenko’s beloved works of art.
The three Madonnas depicts the tectonic shift in the western world’s values. This is a very serious and philosophical subject matter, but the artist conveys his message in a subtle and humorous way.
The first woman values affluence above anything else. Historically, wealth was embodied in precious stones and metals. However, the wealth that she has strived for and accumulated – paper cash and the designer Berkin bag have no intrinsic value.
The second woman, instead of cherishing ancient sources of knowledge and truth, such as books, scriptures, or eternal carvings in stone is holding an I-pad. The I-pad symbolizes the ever-changing and seemingly unreliable stream of information.
The last Madonna substituted love and care for human children with adoration for her high-bred and (often inbred) status dogs. This woman symbolizes the retreat from the traditional role of motherhood for many women in our capitalistic/democratic societies.
The symbolism in this artwork revolves around the second coming of Christ, who has returned to a land physically and spiritually ravaged. The setting of the artwork is what should have been the pinnacle of our civilization – the modern thriving city. Here we see it devastated by human selfishness and greed.
The bulldozer on the right symbolizes our fruitless attempts to change. The teachings of the Savior were ignored (the Bible was discarded). Time has stopped and has no meaning (the destroyed clock in the foreground). The endless pursuit of money didn’t bring happiness or progress (the weathered bills are worthless pieces of paper laying at Christ’s feet. There are no animals, no trees, and no humans – there is nobody left to save.
Click the link above to hear gallery founder Olga Arkhangelskaya talk about the mysterious “Cloud Tree”. Plutenko himself told us about the symbolism in this painting. He was inspired by the world-famous book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery – The Little Prince. Our tiny planet is so precious, so fragile, and the only one of its kind in our universe. We must cherish it, take care of it, love it like it is our only friend. Just like the Little Price loved and nurtured the small flower, the only living thing growing on the planet where he lived.