Emerging softly from the haze and depth of a blue-green, algae-hued garden is the lithe body of a woman. Her skin glistens from lunar and stellar lights – her nakedness assuming more mythic corporality than merely human. She lies on her side, cradling the body of a small withered old man, who glows like a phosphorescent animal, on the throes of death. But across the pond, in the reflection, the woman embraces not a man, but a tiny boy, seemingly newly built from the matter of life. Mark Justiniani’s Nanay takes us on a metaphorical spin on the nature of motherhood beyond its denotative meaning of child-bearing. Mother is a natural force, a principle of universal scale that embraces and nurtures souls in every state of growth. Thus every man or woman is under the caring watchfulness of the maternal force. And in this state of affective embrace, every person is a newborn, and all souls have a child within that should be nourished as well.
Oil on Canvas
92 x 122 cm (36 x 48”)