A Heap of Legs and Knees Walking Us Through Life – Monument by Philip Guston

Monument by Philip Guston
Monument by Philip Guston

A heap of fleshy limbs occupies a shared space, battling for a chance to survive. It’s a scrum of legs and feet, covered with soles reminiscent of horse shoes. The differing red tones bestow a bloodied setting. Intriguingly, some of the soles face outwards, others the ground. They should come in pairs, but perhaps these kinds of legs don’t belong to humans. The planted nails circling the surface of the feet, as well as the round, bony knees, anchor the forms into the picture. The final structure of the limbs piled up on top of each other and the legs hanging in desolation supporting each other’s weight translate the heavy thoughts and memories each of them had to endure. Perhaps this mirrors the emotional state of the painter: twisted, bare and exposed to the world.

From the unbalanced pile of limbs, the harsh dimension of life, as flesh and bones, emanates. The eternal state of humankind resides, even stronger. The physical act of walking is underlined as the predominant factor of our lives. It symbolizes the hops, turns and sometimes steps back that we have to take in order to impose our presence. As we progress with our heavy footsteps, loaded with the weight of our discomfort, sadness, and pain, we mark the road for ever. No matter where we come from or where we are headed, the legs we all use are similar, and perhaps without realizing it, we lean on each other like a heap of fleshy limbs.


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