Laura Atkins, The Reckoning (of Mars and Venus) Diptych, 2018

The artist explains best: “I painted this modern day version of Venus and Mars. In the mythos realms Venus was the goddess of love and beauty. Her true love was Mars, the god of war. Their child was the beautiful goddess Harmonia. One day while Venus and Mars were together they were caught in an invisible but strong net forged by Vulcan [Venus’ husband], and exposed to the ridicule and laughter of the other gods at Mt. Olympus. So this dinner has taken place shortly after the incident and Venus is not very happy.

“I’ve placed some items that symbolize both gods and would have been identifiable to the ancient Romans. For example: strawberries on the cake are heart-shaped and symbolize Venus, oysters for aphrodisiac/Venus. Also wine, red roses, the Venus flytrap wallpaper, which ties to them being caught like a fly on the wall. The chessboard to represent the order of the gods at Mt. Olympus.”

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