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Ugolino's sons offer their flesh to be eaten to save their father from starvation.

Mixed media

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Comment by Resident Curator on April 24, 2023 at 7:43am

Curator’s Comments:

I came across your Canto series again on the site recently, and was drawn into Canto 33, partially because the accompanying text gave me more insight into the visual narrative.  These are carefully constructed multi-figure works, which I assume are collage.  This piece with “Ugolino's sons offering their flesh” is particularly macabre. The figures of what look to be the caged children have ghoulish, waxy expressions.  They are somehow more disturbing that the tiny skulls scattered on the blue tinted snow in the foreground of the picture. The statuesque heads in the extreme upper corners of the composition ultimately bear witness to this strange scene. As onlookers, they share the viewers’ detachment.  I’m intrigued at how these heads frame the edges of the image, creating a stronger sense of a stage for the bodies and flattened, façade like architecture of the cool hued landscape.  I see them repeated in other Canto pictures. The result is a strange beauty within the unfolding chilling visual story, which is both ancient, and eerily of the present.  

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