Robert Muldrow (Brooklyn, 2007)
2'x3', oil on plywood
Donated by the artist (2008)
Mr. Muldrow writes, "Upon coming home from a fantastic vacation in Italy, I found my houseplants in a state of decline and extreme thirst. They were in sort of plant hell. This painting represents what I inferred were their feelings of suffering, neglect, and loneliness as well as my feelings of guilt and regret".
Japanese bonsai grand master Saburo Kato has stated that the most important sound is the footsteps of a bonsai trainer coming to care for his tree. This bond is very similar as the commitment between mother and child to nurture and guide the tree. The most important aspect of bonsai is the bond that exists or is created between a bonsai and its owner-trainer. We can only create true friendships if there is a gentle courtesy, respect, and justice. We can only seek peace if we are at peace with ourselves!
Everyone at MOBA feels terrible for Mr. Muldrow, who clearly was devastated in the realization that he had broken a sacred bond with his plants. He has reportedly been coming to terms with his loss, and has reportedly begun leaving his house for short visits to the grocer and the dry cleaners. There are, however, no vacation plans in his immerdiate future.
The MOBA curatorial staff was drawn to this image for its emotional power as well as the straight-from-the-tube background colors almost identical to Prosthetic Claw (MOBA #426).