Moose: Tell a Lie. Jason Oliva. 2011. 30″ x 70″. (SOLD)
Moose: Tell A Lie
When Sophie and I were living in Collioure, France back in 2009/10 I only had a couple of books in english with me, one of which was a book about the history of Buddhism.
In the book there was a story about someone asking the historical Buddha, ‘When is it ok to tell a lie?’ The Buddha replied with a story … if you are walking through the woods and you see a deer, and then later you see a hunter who asks you if you saw a deer go by, it is ok to then tell a lie. So this story stuck with me and I thought that ‘Tell A Lie’ might make for an interesting painting title, which it did … but a year or so later.
Going back to France. While I was there I had begun work on a study of an aerial view of a Moose that later became a study in oil pastel, which sold at my show at New York Vintners in 2010.
Study for Moose: Tell a Lie at my 2010 Art Show with its future owners
A few months later, I decided to create this image as a large work on canvas and while I was painting it, the story told by the Buddha of the hunter and the deer came back to me. The aerial view of the moose became instead that of the deer in the story, the gaze upon it being that of the hunter. The moose, with its large antlers turned to the side and looking up, suddenly took on a new meaning and expressed a type of vulnerability. It was then that the painting’s title of Moose: Tell A Lie fell into place.
A 30″ x 70” Yellow Moose Leaves Manhattan For Brooklyn
On a Spring morning back in April this year, I wrapped up the work on canvas Moose: Tell a Lie in my studio and delivered it by foot and subway to Brooklyn. Sophie took some photos along the way …