‘Bat and Dog’ by Diego de la Rosa
Artist: Diego de la Rosa
Title: ‘Bat and Dog’
Medium: Oil and acrylic on linen paper
Dimensions: 10.1″x 7.1″
Year of Creation: 2023
About the Artwork:
“Bat and Dog” is part of the collection “The Day You’d Love Me”, which explores the different ways in which Venezuelans have found hope in the midst of the country’s socioeconomic crisis.
The painting reflects on the dreams of revolution that inspired many to rise against their oppressors. The central figure, a young woman, holds two items associated with political uprising: a modern gas mask and a sword resembling the ones used by the heroes of independence. The dignified pose and content look on her face creates symbolizes her optimism and bravery.
Accompanying the character are two sets of animals: a few bats, one hanging from her sword and the others resting on a background branch, and a stray dog standing behind her. These creatures are used by De la Rosa to represent the human condition of the central character. The bats are a symbolize on the ominous future that the protesters of Venezuela faced after failing to realize their political goals. The stray dog, on the other hand, represents the sense of struggle and loyalty that is embodied by the main character. Much like this animal, the civilians who opposed their government did so because they were also abandoned by the system, and their willingness to fight is a demonstration of their fidelity towards the freedom of every Venezuelan.
About the Artist:
Diego de la Rosa is a Venezuelan artist that is currently living and working in Toronto. His work explores the cultural impact of the social crisis in his native country, and relies on symbolism to explore the ideas and sentiments born from this reality. His process involves the collection of found imagery of people and places from Venezuela that are then rearranged into painted narratives full of imaginative elements, such as giants, theatrical atmosphere, and fantastical characters.
The source imagery represents the perceived reality, while the painting tactics embody the values and ideas that are employed to create a reading for these circumstances. The use of allegory in his paintings provides an artistic translation of social concepts similar to the interpretative approach of an anthropological study. He uses these painted scenarios to illustrate both the cultural notions surrounding the crisis, and critical theories on frustration, resilience, spatial inhibition and the desire for power, which he employs to analyze the subject at hand.
Through his work, De la Rosa creates images that universalize issues of oppression, crime and social struggle, evoking empathy in societies so distant from his own.