Woe is a work that seeks to engage its viewers in the universal emotion its title suggests.  This man is in the grips of anguish and sorrow.  Perhaps this is his initial reaction just after receiving distressing news, or maybe this is a moment captured as he perseveres in a long struggle.  The distant village suggested in the valley behind him may lead us to believe that he has sought refuge in the solitude of the surrounding mountains while he searches for inner strength.  Take note also of the irony that one so physically, and seemingly, outwardly powerful is yet susceptible to troubles of the soul.  I further urge the viewer to notice the vivid crimson drapery which he is beginning to rend, designed to heighten the drama of the scene and symbolize that this woe has cut him to the very core.

The above is excerpted from Joshua LaRock’s website.

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One Response

  1. Bruce Dale Wise

    Woe by Joshua LaRock

    He grabs his long brown hair in front with his right hand,
    and the red, shoulder-drapery tie with his left;
    in anguish, gazing tow’rd the cloudy sky’s wide span,
    with slightly furrowed brow, one sees he is bereft.
    We see his neck, his chest, his arms, his bearded head;
    from looks, one cannot tell the burden he has heft.
    Around his seated hips, a white sheet ‘s enfolded.
    Behind, an arid landscape goes the distance back.
    The scene ‘s depressing, drab, dressed in distress and dread;
    but there’s no sack cloth here; the man is classical.
    This isn’t Joshua the Rock, set to command
    the sun. This son, it seems, is on another track.


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