This Knife Is A Metaphor. It wasn’t suppose to be, but apparently it is.
I did this still life for a watercolor class more than a year ago, then showed it yesterday as part of a review to get my thesis approved. When this image came up, both of the men on my review panel suddenly looked very uncomfortable. After a long pause, one of them finally blurted, “Why is the tip of the knife being cut off by that shadow?”
"Because that was how it looked in the set-up." I said, a little confused.
"But why?" he demanded. I watched his face as his concern became outrage. I didn’t understand the question. Did they want me to make up some deep, esoteric answer? Something like,
The tip of the knife is cut off because it represent the impotence of the patriarchy in a modern context.
The tip of the knife was cut off because that’s how the shadow was falling. But then I realized—
They were offended—so very offended—because that’s what they thought my intent was. That little shadow falling over the tip of the knife, dulling it’s edge… It was obviously so psychologically disturbing to them. The mere idea of even an inanimate object being emasculated infuriated them.
That’s not what I meant.
But it is now.