Jana Brike, A Lady and Her Sentinel, oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 19 3/4", 61.3 x 50.2 cm.

Of course, this is about the flourishing life in its prime and the end of it, the very classical “danse macabre” and “memento mori” motif.

Each theme complements and adds on one another. I do often touch upon more heavy themes like loss, pain, mortality, but those I feel are more reflective and supplementing to the other motifs. Both love and life itself pulsing through your veins are felt stronger and more intensely if the vulnerability, sense of mortality, fragility of the moment is there, too, not to contrast it as an opposite but to complement because it all together is to be alive and to be a human. It gives a sense of urgency, intensity, reminds of what is truly important, gives a certain context to life.

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