TRIGGER WARNING: Depictions of abuse IN LINKED ARTWORK.
Just yesterday, a reddit user posted this piece by Yuliya Litvinova to r/Art, entitled “Little Birdies” (mistakenly identified in the reddit post as “Angels”). The work, which was apparently done for a Russian horror-art collection called Evil Book II, absolutely floored me. Even though it is intended as a work of horror, I don’t find it to be very “scary,” per se. Rather, I am struck by how upsetting and sorrowful it is. The expressions and body-language of the “birdies” especially stuck out to me because of the many conflicting emotions that the artist captured in them: fear, despair, confusion… hope? In this way, it isn’t made entirely clear what the mood of the piece is. Is this a moment of salvation for these figures, or the continuation of a horrifying situation? The lighting within the painting is similarly evocative, causing the viewer to think about the unseen of the painting, the source of the light. Has a savior arrived, or is it simply more danger? I am still not entirely sure, myself, but I find this ambiguity to be extremely captivating.
What also came to mind for me, though, upon seeing this piece is how unlikely it is that I ever would have come across it if I did not live in the digital age. The internet has made sharing and discovering art—especially by unknown artists—so much easier than it ever was in the past, and art is now more far more public and accessible. Although it is not the most “serious” collection, I greatly enjoy frequenting r/Art on reddit for a great selection of user-curated artwork. It makes for an interesting mix of topical, political, pop-cultural, humorous, whimsical, and serious pieces, and I definitely recommend checking it out. Perhaps you’ll also happen upon a piece of art that you love.