Cactus Gallery LA
HEADING by artist Jen Raven
Acrylic on canvas, 4” x 4"
Via Jen: Carlo Collodi intended the story 'Pinocchio' to be a tragedy. In the original version (1881), Pinocchio dies a gruesome death: hanged for his innumerable faults. At the request of his editor, Collodi added chapters 16–36, in which the Fairy with Turquoise Hair rescues Pinocchio, and eventually transforms him into a real boy --when he acquires a deeper understanding of himself.*
I can't help but see, in the Pinocchio story, a metaphor -- for the situation humanity currently inhabits: Despite innumerable warnings, from countless scientists, over multiple decades, we continue to rush headlong toward a global catastrophe that we ourselves have created. Within this metaphor; I clearly see the ugly side of humanity represented in the foolish, selfish character of Pinocchio, while science and scientists are embodied in the prudent, generous Fairy with the Turquoise Hair -- a character who repeatedly counsels Pinocchio to improve his ways, providing him with guidance, as well as assistance, on numerous occasions throughout the story. Humanity may very well have doomed itself, through the ongoing abuse of our planet. Science may yet provide us with opportunities for a second chance -- a chance we may not deserve, any more than Pinocchio did.
In the story; a Snail character provides Pinocchio with opportunities for a second chance, and later in the story, for a chance to give back, to the Fairy who has given him so much. Pinocchio's acceptance of these opportunities, to make a change for the better, is what ultimately leads him to become 'a real boy' with a better understanding of himself and his place in the world. I'd like to think that humanity could be like Pinocchio in this sense; I'd like to think that we have the capacity to change, and to take advantage of the opportunities provided us -- while there is still time.
“I am a snail and snails are never in a hurry,” says this domestic of the Blue Fairy. She makes an exception in Pinocchio’s case: it only takes her 9 hours, while he waits outside in the rain and cold, to come down 4 flights and let him into the house. When he asks for something to eat, it’s only a few more hours before she returns with a tray for him.