Robert Maniscalco
2023 Annual Juried Exhibition

The hands of creation can also be the hands of destruction. But whose hands are depicted in this painting, God’s or man’s? We think of God as the grand creator. But man, made in His image, has been given the power to create beauty or wreak havoc with his marvelous hands.

So who has the authority (wisdom power) to destroy? Humankind has created an endless variety of methods and scenarios to bring about its own destruction. Will God one day destroy the earth or will man do it all on his own?

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 ESV

As the world seems to be careening toward oblivion, the question seems more relevant today than ever. There seems to be a sadistic, malevolent force at play, tempting fate, pushing the envelope of what our precarious planet and its inhabitants can endure. What is this planetary penchant for destruction? And is our desire for self preservation strong enough to save us from ourselves? Or is this desire to preserve and protect ourselves not the very source of the problem?

The Bubble Nebula forms a backdrop, with a fragile Earth or Earth-like planet interpolated into it, suggesting a nascent state of potentiality. Enter the human hand, oversized, yet small, holding his fiercest invention, the lowly match. Man’s intrusion into this magical, vast space/time continuum, pits the endless creative desire of nature against the malevolent smallness of man, and his desire for control.

Oil on panel

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