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Entropy 30×30″ oil on linen, gallery wrapped (no frame) The artist prefers that this piece be “unframed.”

Entropy has found its forever home. Available as signed/numbered (5) hand-embellished giclees and signed/numbered AP Giclees on heavy paper

Entropy means the lack of order or predictability, the gradual decline into disorder. The painting depicts a scene which cannot literally exist. It is symbolic. There is something strangely disturbing about the imagery. I am trying to create the sense of societal entropy, that is to say, the result of our turning away from traditional structures which have held society together, however imperfectly, for centuries. Without those reliable and comforting institutions and belief systems, within which we could find meaning and connectedness, we gradually are losing touch with the very things that hold us together. These structures include religion, government, political ideology, education, marriage, gender, science, the economy, philosophy, to name just a few examples. We can no longer trust these institutions, which have formed the bedrock of civilization itself. The things we could turn to for hope and meaning are being stripped away. In exchange for what, is the question. Our institutions are being undermined and as we pull away, we condemn ourselves to an imperceptivity slow decline into uncertainty, chaos and death.

continued . . .

Enjoy my recent musical composition that compliments this painting.

A tree is an intelligent organism. Yet, there is nothing more benign to us than a tree. But its genius is in its slowness, its gradual dominion over whatever is willing to wait. My initial image for this painting was a "tree hugger" unaware that the thing she is trying to save is slowly sneaking up on her, with its intention to consume her. “Entropy” is not a political statement. It is both critical of religion, a commentary of the church's inability to make itself relevant; it is also a stern warning against our turning away from God. After all, the wages of sin is death. We are implored to fight our way out of the entangled roots, to find our way back to God, to meaning, to love itself, the force I believe is directing every action in the universe.

At first as we descend into chaos, or sin, we are enamored of the freedom to explore our darker side. But ultimately, our sin traps us. Without our familiar hierarchy and order, we become confused, entranced and eventually controlled by dark powers we never believed existed, and from which we cannot escape. But as our moral compass becomes twisted, we are corrupted by this double-edged sword called "freedom." Indeed, freedom itself becomes a prison. At first the intertwining of the tree is exciting, almost titillating, as we submit and are bound to our darker master. There is an erotic pleasure in being enraptured, then captured by the choas of the world (the tree). But in the end, almost without realizing it is happening, we are consumed by the chaos, by our own succumbing to our own self-loathing.

In the beginning, the world was without form and void. Entropy would suggest we will also end up that way, in a cold, soulless world that is without form and void. All things are born and eventually die, even stars. I'm not commenting on the concept of eternity or eternal life here. The process of entropy is larger than the dispensations of any religious story of man. All things have a beginning, middle and end. For me, the painting calls out for us to change our inevitable march toward chaos and sin. We must redirect our efforts to hold back the forces of entropy, the existential forces and consequences of sin, before it is too late. I'd like to believe this truth can coexist with the truth of entropy.

There is something innately fascinating about trees, particularly their root systems. the idea of communing on the level of a tree is alluring. "When scientists first studied the structure of nerve cells that comprise the human brain, they noted their strong resemblance to trees. In fact, dendrites, the term to describe projections from a nerve cell, comes from the Greek word Dendron, for “tree.” While the connection in the appearance of nerve cells was made to trees, the comparison may have been more apt than originally realized: scientists are starting to uncover that trees have their own sort of nervous system that is capable of facilitating tree communication, memory and learning."  Valentina Lagomarsino

Additional information

Type of Work

Original Painting by Robert Maniscalco, Giclee – archival inks, stretch on canvas, Artists Proof (AP) – archival inks and paper

1 review for Entropy

  1. ldt123

    Love this!

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