Snakes in Art
To continue last month’s theme of it not being too late to start the new year off right, or for those of you who can’t get enough of celebrating new beginnings, February 10th marks the beginning of Chinese New Year, which is actually a two week long festival of feasting, family reunions and fun for Asian cultures throughout the world. 2013 is the Year of the Snake.
The use of snakes as a motif in art has been around almost as long as snakes themselves, and almost everywhere they are found. Whether they come with good or bad connotations, they continue to have their appeal in everything from fine art to fashion to popular culture.
Few people can consider a snake, in person or in an artwork, without some sort of strong reaction, so it is not surprising that they appear as subjects throughout history to this day. For every person with a deep fear or aversion to the creature, there is another who believes them to be beautiful and desirable company. One look at the photograph above most likely elicited from readers a whole range of responses.
In Chinese astrology, those born in a snake year are believed to have the same cunning, charm and power of seduction associated with their animal counterpart, but not necessarily with bad intentions or results!
One thing is certain – snakes continue to fascinate us with their elusive nature and sinuous movement. Look for snakelike images or designs the next time you are viewing art or architecture. And, Happy New Year!
Brian Sylvester is a guest blogger on WallSpin, and an artist on Zatista.