Mark Nesmith | The Garden of Good and Evil
Oil on Canvas
When I was a kid I practically lived in trees. I especially loved climbing the big magnolia trees in our yard. I’d feel hidden away from the world in the limbs covered by a canopy of deep, glossy green leaves and large, fragrant blossoms. When you climb trees, sooner or later you’ll run into a snake or two. My Uncle Ed was particularly adept at pulling snakes out of the fig trees on his farm by their tail and snapping them like a bullwhip. These are the memories that collided in my head to form The Garden of Good and Evil. It’s an age-old tale of the enticement of beauty against the danger of something sinister, although when it comes right down to it nothing is ever as black and white as good versus evil. There are always shades of grey. Maybe that’s why the snake here doesn’t look as menacing as the one I imagined in the Garden of Eden stories I grew up within the Catholic church.