Title of Art Piece: Tears of a Logical Angel
Category: Communication Arts / Graphic Design – 2023
Student/Artist’s Name: Simran Mitra
School: West Anchorage High School
School: West Anchorage High School
Artist Statement: My artwork is titled The Tears of a Logical Angel, and depicts a dull person in formalwear standing in front of a pile of coffins, while being bathed in a harsh crimson light from the side. The subject matter of the piece is a feeling of emptiness and a lack of emotion despite being surrounded by death and misfortune, which is an experience I personally underwent after the passing of my grandfather.
This piece was driven by the struggles I was facing during that time after his sudden and unexpected death due to illness. I practically forced myself through this piece for a school assignment, despite being out-of-state for his funeral, but I also feel like that exact process might give even more meaning to the artwork itself. To begin, the subject is seen wearing a numb and blank expression, which plainly relates to my emotions and their lack of expression during the days following the death of my grandfather. When I received the news that he had passed, I felt like a part of myself was blocked off, not only creatively, but mentally and emotionally as well.
It had been coming for a while, but we didn’t expect it to occur so suddenly and abruptly, and yet, even when my mother came into the room crying, barely able to muster delivering the news, it had felt like I had already come to accept the fact that he was gone a long time ago. I couldn’t bring myself to shed a single tear, even when we arrived at my grandmother’s house and saw his chair empty, and even at the funeral when I saw him lying in his coffin and whispered to him a final goodbye. It is for this reason that the heart on the boy’s chest was drawn using a lighter value rather than a darker one, suggesting negative space rather than positive; a lack rather than a presence, and a feeling of guilt deep down for not outwardly showing my distress. It was almost as if I had rationalized the entire thing in my head, and though I knew deep down I felt broken that this had happened, I also knew that his suffering was minimized in the process, and that dwelling upon my sorrow would have no use whatsoever, so my brain decided to override emotion with logic and refused to let me cry about it.
This partially explains the title of the work, while the halo crown above his head explains the rest; angels are typically attributed with protecting and uplifting others, and I did my best to take on this role, acting as a shoulder to cry on for my little sister and other family members, who hadn’t come to terms with the situation yet and needed comforting. These elements combined uncover the meaning of the title The Tears of A Logical Angel by revealing that those plagued with an overwhelming urge to rationalize everything can shed no tears at all. However, this rationality can also be a source of strength, as shown by the coffins around the boy and the harsh light shed upon him; even when surrounded by death itself and being challenged with an unthinkable truth, he stands unfazed, maintaining his composure and formality above all while still coming to terms with the weight of the situation and how he feels about it deep down. I know that the way this happened was for the better, and in that fact, there is no reason for me to wish for anything else. He has been freed from his suffering, and that is something I have grown to appreciate, despite the grief of his passing.
My piece is far from perfect, but it is my experience, and I stayed true to myself through it all, which ended up being the most important component of the process. I dedicate this work to my beloved grandfather–may he rest in eternal peace.
Artwork Dimensions: 3.75 inches high x 3.66 inches wide