Fín del Mundo (End of the World)
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Loosely inspired by Hieronymus Bosch's infamous The Garden of Earthly Delights, Fín del Mundo presents us with a garden of unearthly delights: a triptych depicting the end of the world as a cornucopia of disasters both natural and man-made. Much like the illustrious Bosch's work, this 5 x 9 foot mural presents us with detailed vignettes embedded within a titanic, cataclysmic prediction of the inevitable demise of humankind.
But unlike Bosch's masterpiece, Cenedella's wasteland is replete with industrial evils, nuclear waste, and the ghosts of capitalism past, present and future; our modern hell, in other words, is plastered with Coke ads and Victoria's Secret logos. Like the two thieves crucified along with Jesus Christ (who makes his own presence known, albeit with the cynicism of a perfect heretic), the gravest sinners of our contemporary age are pinioned: Big Oil companies, Big Banks, and Big Politicians. In their shadows, one finds a great deal of relevant commentary on the martyrs and victims of globalized greed, personified in the list of names of unarmed black men painted, memorial-style, on the cracked Liberty Bell, as well as the specters of the truly disenfranchised Native-American tribes (the Dakota pipeline protesters in particular).
Rather than offer us a mythological, mystical, universal path to hell, rife with demons and gods, Cenedella's painting is intent upon pointing fingers at specific demons of flesh and blood (if a corporation qualifies as one), hitting right at the nose of our contemporary political, environmental and social tragedies. Ours is a human dilemma, he appears to urge, and our punishment will be meted out by our own hands and not that of any celestial or hellish being.
This particular triptych's main centerpiece is flanked by two panels that come as quite a surprise, contrasting in both color and content with the morose yet explosive doomsday prophecy outlined above. The artist, clearly, is able to laugh not only at our incipient extinction, but also at himself and his own creation.
The painting's current owner, a private collector who loves controversy, was determined that this painting be seen by the general public before Election Day.
Central Park Fine Arts Gallery displayed the painting in the main window just in time for the 2016 presidential election: Cenedella Painting Fin del Mundo