The Forbidden Funeral

Ethan Harris

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The Forbidden Funeral Painting

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Decatur, AL - United States

I'd like to share my initial response to this piece, especially in regards to the title. The sad infant cradled in the female's arms looks to be dead. She is wearing a mask devoid of emotion. Her hands are red, almost as if they were bloodstained. She could be feeling like a heartless monster. Surreal creatures and shapes seem to reflect how she senses others and her environment around her. These circumstances in the painting strongly remind me of post-abortion testimonials. Many a woman who underwent the abortion procedure felt genuine grief for terminating the life that was once growing inside of her. They also encountered confusion because wanting to grieve over what some write off as only a "wad of tissue" is considered taboo (and dare I say it.. forbidden?). Hence, "the forbidden funeral" in this woman's heart, the sense of distortion from her conflicting emotions and beliefs (grieve over loss vs. it's not a baby so get over it), as well as the people around her who are apathetic to her situation (abortion being a very controversial topic). Whatever the original intent, the imagery is striking. Well done!

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