Thursday, March 29, 2007

Big Fish Eating Little Fish

Besides Pieter Bruegel's famous painting The Tower of Babel, I saw another interesting one today Big Fish Eating Little Fish (Thanks for the book, Budi!) In the foreground, the man in the boat with his son is pointing at the scene. The Flemish inscription below the painting says: "Look son, I have long known that the big fish eat the small." Fish seem both omnipresent and omnipotent in the painting - we even see flying fish. The presence and power of fish gets transformed into human: human figures are "fishized", esp. the walking "fishman" (or "manfish"?) to the right of the giant fish, as well as the fisherman to the left with a fish-like body. Is it a hint by the artist that we are no different than fish in this ruthless and senseless world?

No comments: