In his web faith and destinypainter Dmitri Sirenko asks viewers to interpret a powerful scene from nature. The oil painting shows a seal sitting on the shore, staring directly into the eyes of a killer whale that looks like it’s about to be stranded. But in reality, this killer whale is on the hunt, and the innocent seal is in direct danger. It’s up to us how the scene ends.
Nature is a recurring theme in Sirenko’s art and one day, while in his studio, he remembers reading about killer whales stranding themselves to hunt. While digging deeper, he came across a few documentaries that dealt with this phenomenon. This included the BBC The trials of life by Sir David Attenborough. In the footage we see how killer whales are willing to risk everything for the chance of a good meal and how seals often underestimate the grave danger they find themselves in.
It is this tension that Sirenko draws from the skilfully painted work. As the killer whale crashes through the wave, we see light filtering through the water. This light seems to radiate over the sigil, visually indicating the direction of what is about to happen. To maximize the tension, Sirenko gives us a spectacular moment of anticipation. Is it the seal that thinks it will survive? Or the killer whale that believes it will return to the waters after being stranded? And whose fate is truly sealed?
Leaving the ending open to interpretation, Sirenko asks us to fill in the blanks. “The painting shows this almost inevitable scenario – it looks like the seal is unlikely to survive,” he told My Modern Met. “But that doesn’t show the result. The outcome of this scenario is in everyone’s hands and minds. I hope people can overcome their obstacles, no matter how difficult or impossible they may seem. I wish people don’t lose hope and lose faith even though things seem to be fatal.
Sirenko sells prints, as well as commissioned reproductions of faith and destiny on his website.
Painting by Dimitri Sirenko faith and destiny (above) asks us to decide how the scene ends. His similar piece, Fate Sealed also has an ambiguous ending.
My Modern Met has granted permission to feature photos of Dimitri Sirenko.
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