Alan MacDonald, Venus Had Seen It All Before, 2013

MacDonald is open to various interpretations of this painting, but let’s examine a few details first. The painting’s border reads “Tomorrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time” and comes from the scene in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth where Macbeth is confident that he can withstand the siege of the approaching Scottish troops. Within the painting a white dove drops a packet of Scottish Bluebell matches so that Venus can light her cigarette. The goddess appears bored with the “petty pace from day to day,” given that she has eternal life and nothing to do. The artist writes “Every day has become a bit of a Groundhog Day and the scenery behind does nothing for her anymore. Despite all that negativity, I feel that I am trying to say something positive… that everlasting life might not be something to wish for and that we should just cherish each day that we are lucky enough to have.” That being said, if you interpreted something different from the painting, please tell us in the comments.⁠

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